Three-time U.S. Women's Open Champion and fan favorite, Annika Sorenstam, recently opened up to Golf Channel about her thoughts on the upcoming major as well as the mindset and preparation needed to become the winner of this sought-after trophy. Kay Cockerill, the lead analyst for Golf Channel coverage, joined in the interview.
Golf for Beginners selected choice opinions from the Sorenstam - Cockerill interview and have posted a few notable quotes below in the hopes that it will stir up excitement in the 2013 U.S. Women's Open, scheduled for the week of June 24, 2013.
Moderator: Just an opening question, what was your mind set and preparation going into U.S. Women's Open?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Well, thank you, and good morning, everyone. The U.S. Open certainly has a special place in my heart, and growing up in Sweden, I always thought it was the biggest tournament. As a little girl, I dreamed about winning it, and like you said, I had a chance to do that a few times.
You know, certainly I think it's the toughest tournament for women's golf throughout the year. The courses we play on are always immaculate and challenging, and it tests you in every aspect.
Moderator: What are you hearing from the players on the anticipation heading into next week?
KAY COCKERILL: Everyone is very excited and there have been a pretty good handful of women that have gotten out and played Sebonack already, and they are very impressed with the golf course. I think everyone is in agreement that it's certainly wide open off the tee, but it's about placement of the second shot, just enormous undulating greens. And the greens, and the shots around the greens, are going to be very critical.
Moderator: Could you just talk a little bit about what kind of game, particular skills Sebonack might favor, and which players might there for seem to have a particular advantage or chance for this week, next week?
KAY COCKERILL: What I gather from what the players have said, there are some seaside holes. It's a coastal type golf course, but then, pretty generous off the tees. ...and I asked a couple players, if it's the kind of course where you can hit low shots and bounce it in. And they said, not really, because of all the slopes on these greens and the wave like nature of the greens, you kind have to shape your shots in and it's going to be really quite a shot makers golf course.
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I think overall, the way the USGA has set up this course, whatever type of golf course it is, they want you to be, you know, you need to be able to fire on all cylinders. You need to be most of the time pretty long off the tee.
You look at the previous U.S. Women's Open, and it's getting longer and longer.
Moderator: I wonder what you can tell me about...just thinking of people that might have been No. 1 at some point, about Michelle Wie's putting stance and stroke these days, and just generally some thoughts about where she stands these days.
KAY COCKERILL: I've known Michelle Wie for a very long time. I've watched her play since she was ten years old, and she was at the time the youngest to qualify for the women's Public Links which has now been eclipsed by Lucy Li. I personally do not like her putting stance. I find it amazing that she can even stand in that position for an amount of time. Maybe it doesn't bother her back very much. I have to tip my hat to her because it takes a bit of guts and bravery to do something very different and risked being made fun of.
She has committed to this. She seems to; I think she's been told what to do so much that if this was truly her own idea and her own experiment that she felt strongly about and she's committed to it, I applaud her for that.
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Right now, she has a lot more doubt than confidence, and it's hard. She's trying something new. Standing the way she does, it probably stabilizes her upper body a little bit more. She has a strong back, so good for her (chuckling).
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Credit: Golf Channel, ASAP Sports