US Women’s Open 2024 Tips: Can anyone stop Nelly?

 | Tuesday 28th May 2024, 14:09pm

Tuesday 28th May 2024, 14:09pm

jamie LPGA

It’s been six weeks since Nelly Korda recorded her record-equalling fifth straight LPGA win and took her second major title in the Chevron Championship.

After winning for the sixth time in seven starts at the Mizuho Americas Open two weeks ago, she’s still very much the talk of the tour and will be looking to keep this incredible run going in our second major of the year this week: the US Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania.  

Let's jump right in with star golf tipster Jamie Worsley's US Women’s Open tips, which range from 28/1 to a whopping 125/1...

US Women's Open Betting Tips

  • 1.75 pts Hyo Joo Kim each-way (1/5 - 6 places) - 28/1 
  • 1.5 pts Nasa Hataoka each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 35/1
  • 1.25 pts Haeran Ryu each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 40/1 
  • 1 pt Jiyai Shin each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 66/1
  • 1 pt Alexandra Forsterling each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 125/1

*Click on the linked odds to add the selections directly to your betslip on betfred.com (or app)

TOURNAMENT HISTORY

The US Women’s Open debuted in 1946 – with that inaugural edition played as a match play event - and has taken place every year since, making it the oldest surviving women’s major championship.

Hall of Famers, Betsy Rawls (1951, 1953, 1957, 1960) and Mickey Wright (1958, 1959, 1961, 1964) are the most successful players in the history of the event with four wins apiece.

There is then a quartet of players on three wins, with ten-time major champion, Annika Sorenstam (1995, 1996, 2006) joined by Babe Zaharias (1948, 1950, 1954), Susie Berning (1968, 1972, 1973) and Hollis Stacy (1977, 1978, 1984). Whilst the nine-strong list of two-time winners includes Betsy King (1989, 1990), Juli Inkster (1999, 2002) and Inbee Park (2008, 2013).

Last five winners:

  • 2023 (Pebble Beach)

Winner: Allisen Corpuz (-9); runners-up: Charley Hull, Jiyai Shin (-6)

 

  • 2022 (Pine Needles)

Winner: Minjee Lee (-13); runner-up: Mina Harigae (-9)

 

  • 2021 (Olympic Club)

Winner: Yuka Saso (-4, playoff); runner-up: Nasa Hataoka (-4)

 

  • 2020 (Champions Golf Club)

Winner: A Lim Kim (-3); runners-up: Jin Young Ko, Amy Olson (-2)

 

  • 2019 (Country Club of Charleston)

Winner: Jeongeun Lee6 (-6); runners-up: So Yeon Ryu, Lexi Thompson, Angel Yin (-4)

Last year at Pebble Beach, Allisen Corpuz became the first US player since Brittany Lang in 2016 to win the US Women’s Open, doing so in very impressive fashion by three strokes. She returns to defend this week as the event heads east to Pennsylvania, where she looks to become the first player to successfully defend the title since Karrie Webb in 2001.

THE COURSE

This week, the US Women’s Open returns to Lancaster Country Club for the second time, after the course hosted the tournament in 2015. An event that saw Korea’s In Gee Chun record the first of her three major wins, shooting -8 to beat compatriot, Amy Yang by one stroke.

William Flynn – noted for his work at Shinnecock Hills and Merion - designed the highly-rated course in 1920. As time wore on and some aspects of Flynn’s original design were lost, Jim Nagel (previously of Forse Golf Design) was brought in around 2005 and has spent the best part of two decades tinkering with the setup; with the aim of both resorting the course to its former glory and upgrading it to handle the demands of the modern game.

Most recently, large-scale bunker work was done in 2022, with nine new ones added and the remaining ones all moved or expanded to make them more strategic. In addition, new back tees were created and an extensive tree-removal program was undertaken to open the course up, improving the appearance of the course as well as air flow.

Lancaster Country Club comprises three nine-hole courses (Meadowcreek, Dogwood and Highlands), with Meadowcreek and Dogwood – also known as the Old Course – combining to make this championship layout.

A par 70 that can play as long as 6629 yards, it will be around 140-yards longer than it was in the 2015 edition. It possesses 12x par 4s (346-444 yards), 4x par 3s (173-199 yards) and 2x par 5s (517-521 yards).

Largely tree-lined and built on hilly, rolling terrain, Lancaster Country Club is a real test of strategy.

The narrow fairways are predominantly doglegged and require players to be able to shape the ball in both directions off-the-tee. They are severely sloped, often cambering in the opposite direction to the shape of the dogleg; prompting players to choose between taking the tight driving line - which is often well-protected by strategic bunkering – that will leave them a shorter shot into the green, or risk running their tee-shot out into the punishing fescue/Kentucky bluegrass/poa annua rough.

Elevation changes are commonplace right throughout the property, which makes club selection paramount and with 11 of the approaches uphill, the course will play longer than the yardage suggests.

The average-sized bentgrass greens are notoriously difficult, with many tilting back-to-front and leaving the competitors with no end of treacherous downhill putts. Though they are mainly surrounded by thick rough, steep false-fronts are found throughout and the menacing bunkering is at its most penal here, with the greenside bunkers generally large and deep.

The putting surfaces warrant a variety of approach shots into them, with many of them open-fronted and allowing players to run the ball up onto the green, as well as several forced-carries. Precision iron play is key to unlocking them, not only to avoid those lurking dangers but also in accessing tricky pin positions, where it is imperative that players leave their ball below the hole.

Conestoga River runs through the heart of the property, feeding into creeks and water features that come into play on six holes in total.

It’s hard to see where clear birdie chances come around this course on paper. The par 3s are all difficult, with two played right on the edge of the aforementioned water features, whilst the two par 5s are far from gimme birdies, possessing two of the narrowest and most difficult-to-navigate fairways on the course. The par 4s are also strong, but there are two (the 4th and 16th) that could be pushed up during the week to make them drivable.

It presents a true, all-round examination of championship golf, one that players will have to think their way around and I’m excited to see them tackle it again this week.

THE WEATHER

With storms and heavy rain predicted before the start of the event, the players should find a receptive Lancaster Country Club at the beginning of the tournament.

Those wet conditions do look set to disappear before the start of the event and with sunny, pleasant and relatively windless conditions for the rest of the week, the weather shouldn’t play too much of a part.

KEY STATS

  • SG: Approach
  • Greens-in-Regulation
  • SG: Off-the-Tee and/or Driving Accuracy
  • SG: Putting (bentgrass)
  • Scrambling
  • Par 4 Scoring

High-class approach play is always key but will be even more essential this week, for the reasons mentioned above. Add in the potential receptiveness of the greens and those strongest iron players should be best equipped to attack the course.

This is a major championship after all and players will therefore likely need to display some quality in all areas. Plenty of trouble awaits aside the fairways and they will need to be navigated intelligently. I would be looking to avoid anyone long but overly wayward, or those shorter, not especially accurate players.

In terms of the short game, strong bentgrass putters should obviously be favoured on these challenging surfaces, and whilst I don’t think players will necessarily have to be short-game wizards, a decent scrambling ability will likely be called upon.

Finally, the volume and variety of par 4s should make these the more important holes on the course this week.

TOURNAMENT TRENDS

The US Women’s Open is not an event for strict trends and we’ve seen players with varying levels of experience take home the title over the last 10 years.

  • Eight of the last 10 renewals have gone to first-time major winners.
  • Of the last 10 winners, we’ve had two US Open debutants (In Gee Chun in 2015 and A Lim Kim in 2020) and just four with a previous top-10 in the event. Having said that, the other four did possess a previous top-25.
  • Form in majors in general is a little more telling. Eight of the last 10 winners had a previous major top-15; seven had a top-5; and five had a top-2 finish.
  • Winning form that year is not a necessity, with just four of those 10 winners winning previously in that calendar year.
  • Further to that, it’s also not been too important to be a previous LPGA winner, with only four winners since 2013 having an LPGA win to their name.
  • Lead-in form may be the most important factor. Each of the last 10 winners had a top-20 in their last two starts; seven had a top-10 in their last three; six a top-5; and nobody missed the cut on their final start prior to winning the US Women’s Open.

CORRELATING EVENTS

It’s difficult to put too much significance in correlating form this week, with this course only having staged one recent(ish) LPGA.

My main instinct was to look at similarly hilly, tree-lined courses with bentgrass greens. This led me to the Evian Championship at the Evian Resort and the Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club. Both are undulating, hilly and feature regular elevation changes. Evian is similarly tight and though Pinnacle CC is more generous off-the-tee, it still requires players to think their way around the course.

In addition to those, I felt it might be worth taking a look at Palos Verdes Golf Club, host of the Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship. This tree-lined course is extremely hilly and showcases a poa/bent mix on the putting surfaces.

THE FIELD

As always, the US Women’s Open brings together one of our most diverse and exciting fields of the year, featuring players from all over the golfing world getting their shot at major glory.

The dominant Nelly Korda of course tops the world rankings by some way and is joined by a further 45 of the world’s top-50. The most notable of those five absentees is last year’s star, Lilia Vu, who continues to battle a back injury that has kept her out since the end of March.

Last year’s champion, Allisen Corpuz is back to defend and is one of eight former winners in attendance, along with Minjee Lee (2022), Yuka Saso (2021), A Lim Kim (2020), Jeongeun Lee6 (2019), Ariya Jutanugarn (2018), Brittany Lang (2016) and In Gee Chun (2015).

There were 26 qualifiers held around the world; 23 in the US, and one each in Germany, Canada and Japan. Most notable of those qualifiers are the in-form Gabriela Ruffels and five-time LET winner, Emily Kristine Pedersen.

Finally, there’s always a strong group of amateur stars at the US Open, with this week’s field including world #1 amateur, Ingrid Lindblad; 2023 US Women’s Amateur Champion, Megan Schofill; 2023 Women’s Amateur champion Chiara Horder; and after impressing with a top-25 at the Chevron Championship, England’s Lottie Woad – winner of the 2024 Augusta National Women’s Amateur – gets another chance to show how big a future she may have in the game.

SELECTIONS

US Women's Open Odds

*Please click on the link above to be taken to the main US Women's Open market on betfred.com (or app) for all the live betting prices on this tournament.

Market leaders: Nelly Korda 18/5, Rose Zhang 18/1, Atthaya Thitikul 20/1, Brooke Henderson 25/1, Ayaka Furue 25/1

Nelly Korda understandably dominates the betting again this week and I’ll be happy enough to just watch on in awe if she goes on and wins again at these prices.

The benefit of Nelly’s dominance is that we get a bit of value on many others in the field. Whilst it’s only a matter of time before Rose Zhang becomes a major winner, and Atthaya Thitikul has made a taking return to the game after several months out with injury, I just wonder if that win in Korea last-time-out can finally spark major champion, Hyo Joo Kim into some life in the US this year.

1.75 pts Hyo Joo Kim each-way (1/5 - 6 places) - 28/1 

Kim had hardly been in poor form in 2024, recording two top-10s in the Honda LPGA Thailand and Ford Championship, and missing just the one cut. However, she’d struggled to truly get herself into contention.

That all changed in Korea on her last start, in the Aramco Series – Korea event on the Ladies European Tour. Entering the final round with a 2-shot lead, she closed out with a 4-under 68 to withstand a late challenge from Charley Hull, getting the better of the Englishwoman by three strokes.

Acknowledging her unsatisfactory form this season prior to that win, the Korean spoke about how this win could be a turning point in her season and would energise her for the upcoming majors. Something I’m hoping she puts into practice this week.

There are no weaknesses to her game at her very best and whilst she’s performed reasonably well in most areas so far this season, it’s her approach play that has given cause for concern, ranking 117th on tour. This is unusual as she’s ranked inside the top-10 in approach in each of the last two seasons and after signs that she’s turned it around with the clubs in Korea, I believe she’s ready to show the best of herself in this area back on the LPGA.

Kim did miss the cut here in 2015, following an opening 70 with a second-round 76. She was in perfectly good form leading into that, therefore there are no excuses as such but I’m not going to get hung up on one solitary result from nine years ago.

It’s been 10 years since she made her winning major debut in the correlating Evian Championship and she has continued to be a feature since, recording two runner-up finishes; one in this event in 2018 and then in the 2019 Evian. She hit the top-6 in both Opens last year and with some more interesting pieces of form on offer in the shape of top-3s in Arkansas and at Palos Verdes, she makes plenty of appeal to become a two-time major winner this week.

hyo joo kim 28-1

1.5 pts Nasa Hataoka each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 35/1

I regard six-time LPGA winner and consistent major-performer, Nasa Hataoka as one of the best players without a major win. However, still at just 25-year-old, she has plenty of time on her side and this again looks a great opportunity for her to make a breakthrough.

Nasa has been typically reliable in 2024. She’s teed it up 11 times, recording seven top-25 finishes and missing just two cuts; with her strongest performance of the year coming in the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore at the beginning of March. Similarly to Hyo Joo Kim, she will feel disappointed not to have contended that little bit more.

She ranks 13th on tour tee-to-green, where approach play has once again been the standout part of her game, ranking 12th. The putter is the club letting her down this year but she did produce her best putting display of the year last time out, on the bentgrass greens in the Mizuho Americas Open at Liberty National, and I’m expecting her to keep that going this week.

Hataoka didn’t play here in 2015, but with two wins in the Arkansas Championship (2018, 2021) and finishing top-3 in last year’s Evian Championship, she has some appealing comp form for this challenge.

That was one of two major top-4s last year and the sixth major top-5 of her career - which includes a runner-up finish in this event in 2021 - and having not missed a cut in any of her last 12 appearances in these elite events, there is a strong case to be made for her chances of success this week.

Hataoka 35-1

1.25 pts Haeran Ryu each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 40/1 

Haeran Ryu recorded her first major top-10 in this event last year, finishing 8th. She improved on that with a 5th-place finish in the Chevron Championship a few weeks ago and as one of the strongest and most complete ball-strikers on tour, she looks to have every chance of keeping that trend going this week.

Ryu’s successful rookie season in 2023 included a win in the Arkansas Championship towards the end of the year and she’s maintained a strong level of performance into 2024.

Excluding her withdrawal from the Mizuho Americas Open due to illness on her latest start, Ryu had recorded four top-10s in her 10 prior starts, including two top-5s, when 3rd in the LA Championship and with that 5th in the Chevron Championship.

Like last year, this quality of result has been largely engineered by her high standard of ball-striking. She has hit the second-most greens of anyone on tour so far this year and also ranks 8th in both approach and with the driver, where she is accurate and reasonably long.

The short game is a weakness, though she did putt the bentgrass greens in Arkansas well last year to record that maiden LPGA win, and I’m hoping she can transfer that ability to the surfaces at Lancaster CC.

haeran ryu 40-1

1 pt Jiyai Shin each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 66/1

It’s been almost 12 years since Jiyai Shin recorded her second major win in the 2012 Women’s Open. After years spent mostly outside of the major scene she has had some eye-catching results in these premier events in the last couple of years, and with some strong comp form for Lancaster, she could well end that lengthy wait for a third major win this week.

Shin spent much of 2023 on the Japanese Tour and enjoyed an excellent season, recording the 26th, 27th and 28th wins of her professional career. Though perhaps more impressive was that she showed she still had the game to mix it with the world’s very best.

In her three major appearances last year, she recorded a 2nd-place finish in the US Women’s Open and a 3rd-place finish in the Women’s Open. Not only that but in the co-sanctioned LPGA events in Korea and Japan towards the end of the year, she hit the top-5 on both occasions.

She’s carried this over into this year, having not missed a cut in any of the 10 starts she’s made across a variety of tours and has again looked strong when up against the LPGA’s best, finishing 5th in the Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship at Palos Verdes and then 23rd three starts ago in the Chevron Championship.

At her best, Shin is a precise, accuracy-dependant ball-striker with a tasty short game. This should make her an ideal fit for this week’s challenge and as a past winner in Arkansas and at the Evian Resort in her younger years, along with recording that 5th at Palos Verdes this year, she has plenty of comp form that suggests she could be a force in Pennsylvania.

jiyai shin 66-1

1 pt Alexandra Forsterling each way (1/5 - 6 places) - 125/1

Germany’s Alexandra Forsterling has taken the Ladies European Tour by storm in the last eight months and looks an attractive price to make her presence felt on this heightened stage.

Forsterling turned pro right at the end of 2022 at the end of a stellar amateur career, that took her as high as 9th in the world. Highlights included winning the 2022 PING/ASU Invitational – leaving players such as Rose Zhang in her wake – and finishing 2nd in the 2021 European Ladies Amateur, finding only current #1 amateur, Ingrid Lindblad too good.

She showed promise in the pro ranks prior to turning pro, finishing 4th in the 2022 Swiss Ladies Open on the LET. However, she wasn’t able to replicate that as a fully-fledged professional in the early part of 2023. Though that all changed towards the end of the year.

Five starts after recording her first professional top-5, Forsterling went three better in the Swiss Ladies Open to gain her first pro victory and she wasn’t done there; running out an emphatic five-shot winner in the Mallorca Ladies Open on her second-to-last start of the year.

She’s only eight starts into 2024 but has already doubled her winning tally. The first of those victories this year was undoubtedly her most impressive, as she beat Charley Hull – among other stars such as Carlota Ciganda and Megan Khang – by three strokes in the Aramco Series – Tampa. She then followed that with a string of made cuts on the LPGA, before producing some incredible approach play to take her home title, the Amundi German Masters, on her latest start.

Forsterling missed the cut on her only previous major appearance in this event in 2022. However, she’s a much different prospect now and hitting the ball well this year, ranking 6th on the LET in greens-in-regulation, and looking strong off-the-tee and on the greens on the LPGA this year, she has the strength in her all-round game to find herself at the top of the leaderboard.

alexandra fosterling 125-1

You can find all Jamie's latest Golf Betting Tips over on our dedicated golf Insights hub.

Share Article

(Visited 899 times, 1 visits today)