Swinging Skirts has major feel to it

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DALY CITY, Calif. – With a stellar field and a tough test awaiting at Lake Merced Golf Club, the Swinging Skirts Classic feels more important than a regular tour event.

At least, that’s what some of the top players think.

“This is not a major, but it feels like a major,” Rolex world No. 1 Lydia Ko said.

Paula Creamer, who grew up in Pleasanton, 40 miles east of Lake Merced, thinks so, too.

“It has a major feel,” Creamer said. “There are grandstands everywhere.”

Ko is the defending champion. She leads 19 of the top 20 in the world rankings in this week’s field. Jessica Korda is the only player among the top 20 who isn’t here.

“This is definitely one of the toughest courses we play, even including the majors,” Ko said.

With thick rough, with tree-lined fairways and small greens, the test of golf is exacting.

“Lake Merced is a great golf course, a championship golf course,” Michelle Wie said. “When you make a birdie out here, it feels great. When you make a par out here, it feels great.”

Lake Merced is a par 72 set up at 6,507 yards.

“This is an awesome venue,” Creamer said. “This golf course is just so good. You've got to be patient and hit good golf shots.”