3 Things to Look for Friday at the 5th U.S. Senior Women’s Open

By Ron Sirak

| Aug 24, 2023 | Portland, Ore.

3 Things to Look for Friday at the 5th U.S. Senior Women’s Open

The first two rounds of a stroke-play championship are all about positioning yourself for the weekend. As the well-worn maxim goes: You can’t win it on Thursday, but you can lose it on Thursday. Many in the field of 120 at the 5th U.S. Senior Women’s Open go into the second round looking to make certain they qualify for the weekend. Others approach Friday with an eye on moving into position to make a run at the championship.

Waverley Country Club proved to be a stern test in Thursday’s opening round, yielding only five scores at or below par and two rounds in the 60s. The temperature crept into the 90s during the first round and more of the same is expected. The next three days will be not only a test of skill bit also an examination of endurance.

Here are 3 things to look for in Friday’s second round.

Unwavering Waverley

Waverly Country Club proved to be a stern test in the first round of the U.S. Senior Women’s Open. It played soft and long for the early wave and then started to firm up as the mercury climbed above 90 for those who played in the afternoon. With five par-5 holes and 5-par-3s it also provided a bit of a different look than the normal four and four set-up.

Both the outgoing and incoming nines played to a stroke average of around 39. But one of the things to keep an eye on is that the second nine ends with consecutive par-5 holes. That could lead to a lot of late-round volatility and offer the opportunity to make up strokes. In fact, on Thursday, Nos. 17 and 18 played the easiest of any holes on the course.

Past Champions

The winners of the first four U.S. Senior Women’s Open championships are poised to position themselves well as the competition swings into the weekend. Last year’s champion, Jill McGill, is six strokes off the lead after a 75 in the opening round. Annika Sorenstam, who won in 2021, is at 74; Helen Alfredsson, the 2019 title holder is at 73 and Laura Davies, who won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open in 2018, is at 74.

The Unkindest Cut

The field of 120 will be reduced to the low 50 and ties after 36 holes. An educated guess at this point would put the cut line between 8 and 10 over par. Strangely, there were more sub-par round in the afternoon (4) on Thursday than there was in the morning (1). Usually, the morning wave on the first day has the best scoring opportunities.

But with Waverley firming up as the week goes on, it’s more likely that those playing early on Friday will have the best chance to move up the leaderboard and move inside the cut line. Keep an eye on the morning wave in the second round. There could be some fireworks there.