OAKMONT, Pa. – Big, bad Oakmont doesn’t feel that big.
Short and medium-range hitters are doing just fine in the early stages of the U.S. Women’s Open.
“This is probably one of the toughest, fairest Open setups I have seen,” Morgan Pressel said after opening with a 74. '“This is probably one of my favorite Open courses because it doesn’t play that long.
At Saucon Valley last year, there were three par 4s I could barely reach. I only hit one hybrid into a par 4 [Thursday at Oakmont] and that’s because I drove it in the rough. If I had hit the fairway, I wouldn’t have had to hit hybrid.'
Oakmont can be set up to 6,613 yards this week, but it plays shorter because balls are running so hot on Oakmont's firm and fast fairways.
“If you hit the ball in the fairway, make your 5-footers and play the par 3s in even par, you’ll be fine here,' Pressel said. 'The par 3s are the hardest part of this golf course.”
Brittany Lang, the first-round leader, is tied for 47th among LPGA pros in driving distance (250.3 yards per drive). M.J. Hur, 61st in driving distance, and Mhairi McKay, 65th, were tied for second.
Paula Creamer, 136th in driving distance (234.1), was tied for eighth in the first round.