At this point it's sort of like picking Tiger Woods to win a major. She's finished in the top 10 in 14 of her last 18 majors, but the Open puts the most pressure on her to drive the ball in the fairway, and she struggled with that down the stretch last year against Cristie Kerr.
Striking the ball the best she has since 2005. Keeps changing putting styles: Left-hand low; right-hand low; mixture of both in same round. Has two more shots to wins majors before retiring, and a fourth U.S. Open would tie her with Mickey Wright and Betsy Rawls for most ever.
The major that fits her fairways-and-greens game the best is the Open. Is 9th in driving accuracy, 4th in greens in regulation and T-20 putting per GIR. In the top 20 in four consecutive U.S. Opens. The likely place for her to get her first major.
Has been consistent but not spectacular this year: Third in GIR, T-7 in putts per GIR, 4th in scoring average. Won in Europe earlier this year and seems ready to regain the form that won five LPGA events in 2007. Makes a ton of birdies; needs to avoid any big numbers.
The defending champion has struggled with her consistency this year: 15 rounds in the 60s, seven rounds of 75 or higher. When the putter gets hot, as it did in last year's U.S. Open, and she starts walking the ball into the hole she is tough to beat.
At the age of 20, Shin has already won 20 times worldwide, most coming in her native Korea and none on the LPGA, where she is not a member. Finished sixth in last year's U.S. Open.
The victory by this extremely consistent 19 year old in the McDonald's LPGA Championship was no fluke. She's third in scoring average, playing 19 of her 40 rounds through the McDonalds in the 60s, and her worst finish of the year is T-28. Only problem for her on a U.S. Open course is her 103 rank in driving accuracy.
Struggled early this year, missing the cut in four of her first nine events, but in her last three outings was T-2 at Sybase and T-6 at McDonald's. A good USGA player, where a lot of birdies are not needed.
Has shown glimmers of greatness this year, remaining in contention at the McDonald's LPGA Championship until the 71st hole before finishing fifth. Has two other top-five finishes in '08. Hasn't won since '02, when she had her career-best T-7 finish in the U.S. Open.
Seventh on tour in scoring average. Hits fairways and greens -- and makes putts (T-7 per GIR). Three second-place finishes and a third this year. Won the 2005 Women's British Open.
Na Yeon Choi
This 20-year-old Korean battling Tseng for Rookie of the Year is in the hunt every week. Finished T-6 at the Kraft Nabisco Championship and T-18 at the McDonalds. Eighth on tour in scoring average despite being only T-51 in putts per GIR. Appears to be a star waiting to happen.
Seon Hwa Lee
Plays well in big-money events -- 5th in Kraft Nabisco, T-10 in McDonald's and won the $2.6 million Ginn Tribute. Has played in two U.S. Opens and best finish is T-25
Was ninth in the Kraft Nabisco this year and T-4 in the U.S. Open last year. Makes a ton of putts (T-2 per GIR). Not long (T-97) or straight (87) but gets the ball in the hole.
Seven top 20s, including four top 10s this year and is sixth on tour in scoring average. Hits a lot of greens (6th) and makes enough putts (T-14) to contend.
This third-year player out of Duke has missed the cut in her last two U.S. Opens after a stunning T-2 as an amateur at Cherry Hills in 2005. Looks like she might be ready to fulfill her considerable potential. Has already won more money than last year and is coming to Interlachen off a strong performance at the LPGA Championship, where she was T-18 despite a final-round 74.
Hasn't won wince the 2003 ShopRite Classic when she finished second the next week in the U.S Women's Open, losing to Hilary Lunke in a playoff. Erratic in 2008, with three top-10 finishes and three missed cuts. A good week with the driver (T-105 in fairways hit) could make her a contender.
Hasn't fared well in the U.S. Open since winning the second of two in a row in 2001 with three missed cuts in the last six years. A superb ball striker, it usually comes down to the putter for her. T-14 in putts per GIR, but only T-77 in overall putts, which means not converting on those par-savers crucial in a U.S. Open.
Se Ri Pak
The 10th anniversary of her U.S. Open victory as a 20-year-old rookie. Hasn't won this tournament since but was T-3 and T-4 the last two years. Has not been on her form this year, ranking T-145 in fairways hit and 58th in scoring average. T-10 at Kraft Nabisco Championship indicates she still gets up for the big ones.
Jee Young Lee
Long off the tee (6th) but misses a lot of fairways (138th). Still manages to get the ball in the hole (71.54 -- T-23). Has played in 10 LPGA majors and finished in the top 22 nine times. Rarely misses a cut (60-for-62 in her career).
At age 34 is playing some of her best golf. Finished 4th in the Kraft Nabisco and then was second to Tseng in the McDonald's losing on the fourth playoff hole. Wildness off the tee (120th) will hurt at Interlachen.