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Ron Sirak - July 9, 2012

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Golf World Executive Editor Ron Sirak appeared on Morning Drive from Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Blackwolf Run was where Se Ri Pak won the 1998 U.S. Women’s Open and it is where fellow South Korean Na Yeon Choi won on Sunday. While a number of South Koreans have won Majors, Pak is the only one with multiple Major wins and Sirak thinks that Na Yeon Choi has the potential to become the second multiple Major Champion from South Korea.

Lorena Ochoa is planning to play a couple of events later this year and she told Sirak recently that she is not contemplating a comeback. She seems very happy to be a mother and while she does not want to return to competitive golf full-time, she wants to play occasionally in order to keep her name in the public eye.

The U.S. Women’s Open was impacted by slow play all week long. Notably, the final pairing of Suzann Pettersen and Michelle Wie on Saturday took over three hours to play their front nine. Sirak said that the reasons for slow play include too much involvement from caddies and too much indecision from players. Slow play hurts the game of golf and action will have to be taken eventually if things are to get better.

Fairways and greens work when it comes to winning the U.S. Women’s Open and that plays into the strengths of many South Korean players. South Korean girls can begin playing professional level events at the age of 14 so by the time they arrive in the United States, they are well-experienced when it comes to competing in top-level events. This could be a big reason why the South Koreans are outperforming players from the U.S. as well as the rest of the world.

Looking back at the performance of the Americans at Blackwolf Run, Sirak said that there were a number of impressive performances last week – most notably Lexi Thompson. She may have struggled on Sunday but he was very impressed with how well she played all week and if she were able to win, she would have become the youngest Major Champion at the age of 17. He feels that American golf is in a great place right now and it is a matter of time before an American wins another Major.