Today’s Ladies* Professional Golf Association leaderboard following the first round in Oneida, Wisconsin. Eight countries represented among the top ten. Explained in large part by Asia’s economic rise. Little known fact, Yu Liu played at Duke University**. Course might be a little too easy.
Today’s European Tour leaderboard, only seven countries represented among the top ten because of a run of Brits. Props to Padraig for reppin’ the old guys.
*Who uses “Ladies” anymore?
**that’s what I’m here for
June 2004. A favorite student and I are talking about meeting up after the US Open at Pumpkin Ridge Country Club where her family are members. My family and her family plan to meet afterwards at a restaurant for dinner. Coincidentally, within 60 seconds of walking the course, I bump into her. She says “change of plans” and “can you please join us at the house for a barbeque instead”?
Turns out they were hosting a young player, Katherine Hull, from Australia, fresh out of Pepperdine where she set an NCAA record with a 64 in one tournament. Hull hadn’t qualified for the Open, but like Lance Armstrong pre TdF, she was walking the course, doing reconnaissance for future opens.
I was amazed by her selflessness, personality, and maturity. Despite staying in other people’s houses all the time, she interacted with everyone for the entire meal, talking to A and J and eventually signing golf balls for them. I learned she took up golf kind of late and is a committed Christian.
Truth be told, she made a more lasting impression on me than the double X’s. Probably in part because they have never fantasized about playing golf for a living. Long story short, I’ve followed her career ever since. Last weekend, she shot 65 on Saturday (low round of the day) and finished tied for 7th. Career earnings, $2.2m+.
She was incredibly grounded in 2004. My guess is her success and the money haven’t gone to her head.
Footnote: How much is the LPGA struggling? Hull’s tied for 7th paycheck, $24k. Last week’s tied for 7th PGA paychecks, $199.5k.