After Further Review: Memphis MC means Pinehurst victory?

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Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on the recipe for winning next week's U.S. Open at Pinehurst, how the U.S. Women's Open is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing in the history of the women's game and the benefits of par-3 golf courses.


 

There's no right or wrong way to prep for a major championship. But when I spoke recently with Mike Hicks, who caddied for Payne Stewart during his 1999 U.S. Open victory, he said the key to the week was missing the cut in Memphis. It allowed them to arrive at Pinehurst on Saturday, then stay rested and relaxed while others got there later and played catchup. With multiple delays taking their toll in Memphis this past week, here's guessing a few dozen players wish they'd prepped differently - or at least missed the cut like Stewart. - Jason Sobel


Women’s golf is doing more than its part to make this the most intriguing U.S. Women’s Open in history. A week after American Stacy Lewis seized the No. 1 ranking from Inbee Park by winning the ShopRite Classic, Park answered back in emphatic fashion, coming from behind Sunday to win the Manulife Financial Classic with a course-record 61, the lowest round of Park’s LPGA career. Though Park didn’t take back the No. 1 ranking with her victory, she will go to Pinehurst No. 2 to defend her U.S. Women’s Open title within three tenths of a point of Lewis in the world rankings. More than that, No. 3 Lydia Ko will go to Pinehurst at 17 years old with a chance to become the youngest No. 1 in the history of women’s golf if she wins there. With the historic setting, playing the U.S. Women’s Open a week after the men at Pinehurst, the stage is set for something really special in the women’s game. - Randall Mell


The Champions Tour should be applauded for making a par-3 course part of this weekend's Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf event. I've always liked playing on par-3 and executive courses. One of my favorite courses of any type is the par-3 course in Palm Beach, Fla., which is bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Intracoastal Waterway. The advantages of such short courses are obvious - rounds don't take all day to play, the courses are perfect venues for beginners, and they're generally walkable. And don't forget that two loops of a nine-hole par-3 course gives you 18 chances to make a hole-in-one. The exposure that par-3 layouts can get from the Champions Tour is invaluable. - Al Tays