CordeValle, in Northern California's wine country, will host the U.S. Women's Open July 7-10. It's the kind of place where Annika Sorenstam might have lapped the field. The course will demand accurate driving and solid putting—two trademarks of Sorenstam's Hall of Fame career, which ended in 2008.
Of the players who will tee it up at Corde-Valle, early favorites include world No. 1 Lydia Ko, 19; Inbee Park, who has six major victories in the past three seasons; and defending champion In Gee Chun. Add to the mix Lexi Thompson, who has improved her short game; relentless contender Stacy Lewis; and 2014 Open champion Michelle Wie. And don't forget Amy Yang, who has five top-10s in the last six Opens, including two seconds.
Back to Sorenstam, who celebrates two anniversaries this year. Twenty years ago, she grabbed her second straight Open, at Pine Needles. Ten years ago, she won her third Open and 10th and final major, at Newport (R.I.) Country Club. That win capped a dominant run and provided a perfect bookend to a career that pretty much began and ended with a U.S. Women's Open title. —Ron Sirak