Lead’s View: Unprecedented U.S. Women’s Open, Patrick Reed looks to make history in Dubai

Lead’s View: Unprecedented U.S. Women’s Open, Patrick reed looks to make history in Dubai

December 8, 2020

There are 2 major events this week in golf the U.S. Women’s Open at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas and the final event of the 2020 season on the European Tour  – The Road to Dubai, where the top 60 money winners get invited.

The ladies get to play on an iconic golf course – Champions Golf Club, owned by one of history’s greats, Jackie Burke.  The course was established in 1959 and was co-owned with another Houston great, Jimmy Demaret. Champions hosted the 1967 Ryder Cup and the 1969 US Open amongst many other prestigious events. It is also renowned for being the course that Ben Hogan played his final tournament on.  Champions will be a stern test for the world’s finest women players. The tournament will be noted for a few different things this year.  Firstly, the time of the year that it is being held – hopefully it doesn’t snow! Secondly, no crowds to play in front of as they players are certainly used to by now. Thirdly, the tournament is being played on 2 courses at Champions, the Cypress Creek Course and the Jackrabbit Course, they will play 3 rounds on Cypress Creek and one round on Jackrabbit course.  This to my recollection has not happened before although the US Amateur is held on two different courses because of the high number of entries.  The reason it is being done this year is due to the limited number of daylight hours. It will take some extra preparation form the players this year charting two courses but overall I am sure they are just thrilled to be playing.  Because of the time of year and the fact that the PGA tour does not start up until January the tournament should attract a lot of tv viewers watching these skillful players from all around the world.

Three of Leadbetter’s students tee it up this week with hopes of capturing their first major title.

The Road to Dubai Tournament is testament to consistently good play throughout the disjointed 2020 season. The reduction in the number of tournaments, the bubble existence at tournament sites and dealing with no crowds all lends itself to an intriguing end of the year event. Interest will also follow, Captain America, Patrick Reed, current Race to Dubai leader, who has a chance to be the first American to win the race to Dubai and the European Tours Order of Merit.  Patrick considers himself to be a worldwide player which is highly unusual in this day and age, where many US players feel far more comfortable especially at this time staying at home rather than traveling. It’s a top class field with a new PGA champion Colin Morikawa in attendance and who will be playing in his first full-fledged European tour event.  The long well bunkered Greg Norman designed course should produce a worthy winner in this no cut showcase tournament.  

Some sad news to report this week, is that we learned of the passing of famed player and commentator Peter Alliss.  He was a collassus in sports broadcasting.  Having commentated in a staggering number of 69 Open Championships while working for the BBC and also for ABC and ESPN.  His expert commentary in his distinctive classic english voice will be missed.