NORMAN — It is the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links and it begins Monday at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club and you should really check it out.
It is a big, big deal.
It is the tournament that put 12-year-old Michelle Wie on the map, when she won it back in 2003, and it’s the tournament that put former world No. 1 and now world No. 4 Ya-Ni Seng on the map when she beat Wie 1 up in the 36-hole championship match a year later.
It is the tournament that, this year, will feature 10-year old Lucy Li, who shot a 76 at Painted Desert Golf Club in Las Vegas to qualify. And would you believe it, she’s the third 10-year old to do it, the first being Wie in 2000.
Anyway, it’s a really cool thing and it’s happening in Norman just four years after the men had their turn on the golf course some old-timers still lovingly call “University” at the 2009 U.S. Amateur Public Links, won by Brad Benjamin, who, according to Wikipedia, remains an amateur and who hasn’t done too much since his Publinx triumph, though he did make the cut at the 2011 U.S. Open.
It’s great watching, it’s bound to produce great stories and it ought to be a lot of fun. So, take it in while you can, for soon it will be gone.
The 2014 women’s public links is scheduled for The Home Course, in Dupont, Was. The 2014 men’s public links (though women may enter as Wie was once memorably in the field) will be played next summer at Sand Creek Station Golf Course in Newton, Kan.
After that, it’s over.
Replacing them in 2015 will be the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship and the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship.