Women arrive at Pinehurst; Ko wants Spieth's autograph


PINEHURST, N.C. – Lydia Ko flew into Pinehurst on Saturday morning to begin getting ready for next week’s U.S. Women’s Open.

The 17-year-old Kiwi isn’t just here early to prepare to play Pinehurst No. 2. She’s a fan of the men’s game. She arrived from Orlando, Fla., hoping to see some of Phil Mickelson’s round Saturday, and maybe even try to get Jordan Spieth’s autograph. She's also a big Adam Scott fan.

Lucy Li, who at 11 is the youngest qualifier in the history of the U.S. Women’s Open, arrived earlier this week. She’s expected to meet the media in a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Former Rolex world No. 1 Yani Tseng arrived Saturday on the same flight as Ko from Orlando, Fla.

The USGA will open the Pinehurst No. 2 driving range, short-game practice area and practice putting green to the women Sunday at noon. That means you will see women hitting, chipping and putting beside the men with the final round of the U.S. Open in progress.

Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer, Jessica Korda and Sandra Gal are among the players expected to arrive Sunday.

For Ko, Tseng, Li and other participants in the U.S. Women’s Open who were on property Saturday, Pinehurst No. 7 was open for them to play and practice.

Tim Flaherty, senior director of the U.S. Women’s Open, said the No. 7 course was chosen for good reason.

“It’s the most similar to No. 2,” Flaherty said.