Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

While many stars exited too soon, the 2024 U.S. Women’s Open still deserves your attention – here’s why

By admin Jun5,2024

The most unknown player on this board by a mile is 31-year-old Meechai, who said just yesterday that she didn’t think she had what it took to win on the LPGA. Meechai holds a share of the lead with Minjee Lee and Andrea Lee at 5 under. Only five players in the field are under par through 54 holes. Yuka Saso, who sits alone in fifth, is three strokes ahead of next two players on the board in a share of sixth.

When Golf Digest’s Shane Ryan asked Meechai during Saturday’s press conference what pressure does to her, she said her brain stops working and she goes blank.

“You cannot feel your body,” Meechai said. “You cannot feel your brain. You cannot feel your hands. So I just hate it.

“But you’re not going to be able to get rid of it. I think the best part for the three rounds for me, it’s like I kind of managed to get along with the pressure.”

There aren’t many pros in the game who would give such a raw and honest answer about anything at any time, let alone the night before the final round of a major.

Meechai’s father, Wanchai, works for the Asian Tour and runs all the tournaments for the Thai LPGA. The Thailand golf community will be up all night on Sunday to see if Meechai can join good friend Ariya Jutanugarn as the only Thai players to win the U.S. Women’s Open.

Meechai’s manager, Pennapa “K.P.” Pulsawath, told her to stay off social media this week. Meechai, who goes by the nickname “Jan” on tour, received a slew of texts but didn’t answer any of them, only calling mom, who hoped she could stay patient on the course.

As Meechai struggled earlier this year, missing three straight cuts, she told her manager she might be too old to keep competing on the LPGA. Pulsawath told her to go home and visit her mom, who’d had heart surgery earlier in the year, and recharge. If she still felt that way later in the year, they could sign up for JLPGA Q-School and give it a whirl.

“For me, I aways believe she could be on this tour,” said Pulsawath.

The idea of going to Japan just freed Meechai’s head up a bit.

Meechai’s swing coach, Chris Mayson, has been telling her for two years that can be a top-30 player.

“She just never believed it,” Mayson said.

Perhaps that’s changing.

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By admin

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