Female perspective: Kerr eyeing men at Pinehurst


Cristie Kerr will give GolfChannel.com readers a women’s view of the U.S. Open as a guest writer this week.

With the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open being played in back-to-back weeks on the same venue in a historic first in major championship golf, Kerr will provide thoughts and observations in a blog after each round of the men’s championship. There’s much for the women to observe as they watch the men play Pinehurst No. 2 with their own preparation in mind. The women are gearing up to play the course next week under what USGA officials aim to make a relatively similar, albeit a shorter setup.

Kerr, a 16-time LPGA winner, knows something about winning majors, and she knows something about winning them in the sandhills region of North Carolina. Kerr is a two-time major championship winner. She won the U.S. Women’s Open in 2007 at Pine Needles, another Donald Ross design just 5 miles down the road from the classic course Ross built at Pinehurst No. 2. Kerr will be competing in her 19th U.S. Women’s Open next week. Her other major came at Locust Hill in 2010, when she won the LPGA Championship in a record 12-shot rout. That's also the year Kerr ascended to No. 1 in the Rolex Women's World Rankings,  becoming the first American to do so. She held the top spot for five weeks that year.

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The men will play Pinehurst No. 2 as a par 70, measuring 7,562 yards on the scorecard. The women also will play it as a par 70 at 6,649 yards. USGA officials are planning to have the same green speeds for the women as the men, though they’re aiming to have the greens slightly softer for the women, in an attempt to accommodate different spin rates of the approach shots of men and women.

Kerr’s take on how this historic twinning of majors unfolds will begin Thursday and continue with a blog after each U.S. Open round.