With a record purse of $11 million, the 78th U.S. Women’s Open starts an impressive run of championships set to be played at venues that until now had been reserved for men.
Pebble Beach has hosted six men’s U.S. Opens, but this is its first time hosting the women’s national championship, and it returns to the Monterey Peninsula in 2035, 2040, and 2048.
“Where you win definitely matters,” NBC lead golf analyst Morgan Pressel told Front Office Sports at a media conference call ahead of the first round. Claiming victory at a course with a history of “epic championships” gives players more credibility, Pressel said, equating this weekend’s eventual winner to the likes of Lorena Ochoa and Stacy Lewis, who won Women’s British Opens at the Old Course at St Andrews.
Revenue from this week’s ticket sales are more than double last year’s event at North Carolina’s Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club. Coming into the event, one of the biggest storylines was 20-year-old phenom Rose Zhang, playing in just her third event as a pro after winning her debut last month and finishing T-8 at the Women’s PGA…