NORMAN — Presuming that the final round of the men’s U.S. Open is being played this afternoon, golf fans who do not want to see the championship swinging and putting end just yet can roll out to the OU Jimmie Austin Golf Club this week as the U.S. Golf Association will be playing another championship this week in Norman.
The U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links championship will be played this week with the nation’s top amateur women golfers vying for the championship title. This is the first time the PubLinks will be contested at the course and the second time it has been played in Oklahoma, with Tulsa hosting in 1988.
Since the competition began, PubLinks has been a huge draw among women golfers, according to the U.S. Golf Association. The U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links began in 1977 as a national championship for women who play the nation’s public courses. The first championship attracted 686 players — more than the combined fields of the 1977 Women’s Amateur, Women’s Open, Senior Women’s Amateur and Girls’ Junior.
The USGA has also said it has accepted 700 entries for the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, three more than in 2012.
After hosting the men’s version of PubLinks in 2009, Rodney Young and the staff at the course have been preparing for the event since before the selection was finalized. In early May, the course hosted a preview event in which local media met with USGA officials.
Rhonda Glenn, the USGA communications manager, is well versed in her women’s Oklahoma golf history and said the state has nurtured some of the greatest women golfers with Nancy Lopez who played on the golf team at Tulsa; Oklahoma native Susie Maxwell Berning, a three-time U.S. Women’s Open champion; and Betty Jameson, who won the U.S. Women’s Open, won the U.S. Women’s Amateur championship twice and was a founding member of the Ladies’ Professional Golf Association Tour, was born in Norman.