Lofty expectations


BETHLEHEM, Pa. – While Saucon Valley Country Club is playing fairly soft early this week, players are expecting the greens to firm up and play more according to U.S. Open speeds by the time play begins on Thursday. For this reason, Paula Creamer has put a TaylorMade r7 7-wood (22 degrees) in her bag for the championship and is also considering using a TaylorMade R9 5-wood (19 degrees).

“She’ll be able to hit the ball a little higher going into the greens with the 7-wood,” said Creamer’s caddie, Colin Cann, “and she’ll be able control her distance better. “That’s important because these greens are very undulating.”

Creamer, who’s battling an injured left thumb, normally plays with 19- and 22-degree TaylorMade Rescue Dual hybrids, but the added length of the woods should help elevate the ball even more, says TaylorMade LPGA Tour rep Brian Rhattigan. That will be a big plus on the par-3s at Saucon Valley (three measure more than 165 yards, including the devilish 210-yard 9th hole) and from out of the thick, lush rough. There’s a slight chance of a shower today and Wednesday, but the forecast for the rest of the week looks sunny and dry, a stark contrast to all of the rain the men received a few weeks ago at Bethpage Black.

“She’ll get a little higher launch with the woods, so the ball will sit down on the greens better,” said Rhattigan.