GALLOWAY, NJ – Conditions on the Bay Course at Seaview vary from year to year, often depending on the conditions and whether or not the wind is blowing. The 54-hole scoring record is 17-under 196 by Annika Sorenstam and Anna Nordqvist, but the scores have been high over the years too.
Nordqvist’s winning score for her first Seaview title was nine beats higher than when she successfully defended her title in 2016. The highest score for a champion is 4 out of 209 by Karrie Webb in 2013 – only four players finished equal or better from Week.
The course has played firmly and quickly this week. The wind picked up from Saturday afternoon and it was difficult to hold the greens on shots played upwind, even with wedges.
The complex greens are the main defense of the course this week, players often need to land the ball on the correct plane to avoid the ball from rolling into a long putt or even off the green. The greens also play a lot faster than they look as players bet defensively from above the hole.
Conditions are eased a bit by the length of the golf course – Seaview is set up at just 6,190 yards this week. Even if the event returns to 54 holes this year, there should be plenty of birdies on the course.
World number two Jin Young Ko made it 6 under 65 on Friday to take the lead in the second round. Even if she holds the lead overnight, she has no plans to take her foot off the accelerator.
“For example, if I go to the finals with first place, I will play more aggressively. This course is a little shorter so we can get a lot of birdies, ”said Ko.
Stacy Lewis clearly enjoys Seaview as she has won the event twice. The course is currently at 6 under, five strokes behind Ko’s lead and has sparked some of Lewis’ creativity.
“It’s not a golf shot. You have to create beats in your brain and see them, and if you get into the rough this week you have to tilt it towards the green, ”said Lewis. “There is no other shot. I think, if anything, it’s probably playing a little harder this year than it has been in previous years just because it’s so tight. There are a few greens that are a bit unpredictable. “
The unpredictability is a welcome change in an era when golf feels more like darts, with players aiming at every flagstick and doing birdie after birdie. Links golf forces players to really think about the strokes they are playing.
“Every now and then it’s nice to see the ball bounce rather than just hit and stop, and show some creativity in different shots of the girls,” said Lewis.
No matter what stroke she has to play, Su Oh – who is currently T3 at 7-under – knows she has to go low on Sunday to stand a chance.
“Try to do a lot of birdies out there. There are a lot of birdies out there so all you have to do is pick them up on the way. I probably feel like I have a pretty good chance if I don’t shoot, ”said Oh.