I voted to wait and see. Sometimes the women are underestimated, but I agree with boogielicious, in that, the determining factor will be the course itself. Only those who have worked on an open course can attest how beat up it will be after a men's open is complete. Will Pinehurst #2 be able to recover fast enough for the second week? To me, the only way that Pinehurst will be playable for the Women's Open, is for the USGA to tame the conditions for the men. Will that actually happen? Who knows? So, let's wait and see how the USGA manages course conditions.
Originally Posted by iacas
It may be depressing to the women to see the fact that the men have almost literally 10x the grandstands and things than they need (I've been to both men's and women's U.S. Opens at Oakmont - where you think seating should be for the women after going to the men's… it's not.).
Good point. I guess a question to consider is whether or not the USGA will take down some of the grandstands and corporate tents between the end of the men's and the beginning of the women's open, as not to give the impression of a lesser tournament compared to the men. Then again, I guess that camera angles can accommodate the discrepancy in crowd size.
I caddied in the 1992 Women's Open at Oakmont and attended the one in 2010, as well as being at every Men's Open at Oakmont since 1983. Fact: the women's crowds are only a fraction of the men's opens. Depressing? That might be, but mostly for those who want to see equality between men's and women's golf. Most golf savvy people understand why there are smaller crowds, so there is no need to get into that in this thread.
Originally Posted by David in FL
I bet they tame it WAY down for the women. Although they'll try to make a positive comparison, it just won't be possible because it'll be a completely different course.
I'd really like to see the identical set-up, with just the tees moved up appropriately. Never gonna happen though.
You are probably right. The course will be set up differently, and the reason, felt by many people, is so that they do not embarrass the women.
At first glance, if you look at the numbers from Oakmont's latest opens, the winners, Cabrera (+5) and Creamer (-3), had a huge discrepancy in their scores, as well as the scores for the entire field in favor of the women's golfers. But, when you look at the fact that the men played at par 70 and the women at par 71, then the disparity is not as great. (For the men #9 was a par 4 - for the women a par 3.)
I did feel that the prime reasons for this difference in scores at Oakmont were the rough and the tee placements. As for the rough, having walked the course both before and after both opens, I can attest that the men's was considerably tougher. But a bigger factor in the scoring difference, in my opinion, was the placement of the men's tees. From the men's tees at Oakmont, the golfers had a much less margin of error in the placement of their tee shots compared to the women golfers. This led to considerably longer approach shots from less desirable lies. Even though the USGA only had the women's greens slightly slower than the men's at OCC, the strokes accumulated because the men's approach shots came from these longer distances made them much more unlikely to end up either on the green or within a reasonable birdie distance.