Kraft winner will hit a lot of fairways


RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Who’s best suited to win the year’s first major championship in women’s golf?

With the rough as thick as anyone’s seen it here in some time at Mission Hill's Dinah Shore Tournament Course, look for a ball striker to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship, not a bomber.

“The rough is like you’d see at a PGA Tour event,” says David Leadbetter, swing coach to Michelle Wie and Suzann Pettersen. “It’s thick and it’s sticky. Even the strongest players will have trouble advancing shots from out of the rough. It's crucial to hit fairways.

“That might lead you to think it’s set up for short, straight hitters, but the rough is also deep around the greens. And the greens are so firm that it’s no bargain if you’re in the fairway but you’re hitting longer irons in. I’d say it’s a ball striker’s setup, with players who hit high shots into these greens having an advantage.”