10 big-name players who missed the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open
SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. — A golf tournament can’t be won during the second round, but it can certainly be lost. For many in the field at the U.S. Women’s Open, that was the case on Friday afternoon.
With temperatures back in a bearable range, and the winds relatively benign, conditions were optimal for scoring during Round 2 at Pine Needles. Mina Harigae and Minjee Lee paced the field and hold the lead at nine under through 36 holes, and 26 players are in red figures heading into the weekend.
There were a host of players who couldn’t take advantage of the conditions, however, and for many of them, their weeks ended with a missed cut.
Here are 10 big-name players who won’t be around for the final 36 holes.
10 big names who missed the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open
Michelle Wie West
What she shot: 73-74 (+5)
What went wrong: Wie West just couldn’t get it going on the greens on Friday. She hit 13 of 14 fairways, and 13 of 18 greens in Round 2, but 32 putts — including a three-putt on her final hole — doomed her hopes of another magical week in the Sandhills.
Is it surprising? Not necessarily. Wie West has played a very limited schedule in recent years, and she admitted early in the week she hadn’t been able to put in the usual prep-work before this major. This week was as much about bidding farewell to the fans in the area as it was about being competitive.
What she shot: 73-75 (+6)
What went wrong: Jutanugarn just couldn’t find the greens in Round 2. The 2018 U.S. Women’s Open winner hit just 10 of 18 greens on Friday, and she couldn’t scramble enough to sneak inside the cut line.
Is it surprising? Yes and no. Yes because of the past success she’s had in this championship (a win and two other top 10s in the last four years). And no because her game is trending in the wrong direction. Just recently, she slipped outside the top 40 in the world for the first time since 2016.
What she shot: 77-74 (+9)
What went wrong: Too. Many. Bogeys. The 2021 champ carded 14 bogeys over 36 holes and looked out of sorts all week long.
Is it surprising? Yes. There’s no shame in coming up short in a title defense — the last back-to-back winner was Karrie Webb 21 years ago — but missing the cut by six shots is an epic disappointment.
What she shot: 74-81 (+10)
What went wrong: Thursday was an impressive showing for Sorenstam. In her first LPGA start since 2008, she carded a three-over 74 and bested some of the best players in the world. She couldn’t keep up the momentum on Friday, though. She failed to card a birdie in Round 2, and tied for the highest round of the day.
Is it surprising? No. It was her first start in a major since 2008, and expecting a made cut was wishful thinking.
What she shot: 81-72 (+11)
What went wrong: We aren’t going to critique the play of the ANWA winner in this column. Although Davis has become a household name since her Augusta National triumph, competing at this level just isn’t in the cards for the 16-year-old — at least not yet.
Is it surprising? No. Davis is only a teenager, and despite the MC, her future is still bright.
Nanna Koerstz Madsen
What she shot: 74-74 (+4)
What went wrong: Koerstz Madsen was in prime position to make the weekend standing on the 1st tee on Friday (she began her round on No. 9), but the next 45 minutes were a disaster. The Dane went 6-5-3-5 on Nos. 1-4, and in the span of four holes went from one shot inside the cut line to two shots out of it. She bounced back by playing her final four holes in one under, but it was too little too late.
Is it surprising? Yes. Koerstz Madsen is in the midst of a breakout season on the LPGA Tour, earning her first win and climbing inside the top 20 in the world for the first time. Despite the promising season, her first major title will have to wait.
What she shot: 74-74 (+6)
What went wrong: Too many bogeys (and worse). Lewis had eight bogeys and a triple in 36 holes at Pine Needles, and that just won’t get it done at a major championship.
Is it surprising? No. Lewis has just one top-10 major finish in the last four years, and she’s now missed the cut at three of the last five U.S. Women’s Opens.
What she shot: 71-78 (+7)
What went wrong: Tavatankit was one over for the championship standing on the 17th tee, but her final two holes were a catastrophe. The major winner played the final two holes in six over — triple-triple — to eject from the tournament and miss the cut by four shots.
Is it surprising? Yes — particularly the fashion in which it happened. Tavatanakit is a top-15 player in the world, and a missed cut like this will always be noteworthy.
What she shot: 76-74 (+8)
What went wrong: Smiling Cinderella opened the tournament with back-to-back doubles and she never quite recovered. It just wasn’t her week.
Is it surprising? Somewhat. Shibuno was on a hot streak early in the year, including a T4 at the Chevron Championship, but her play has cooled considerably of late. Still, a major winner opening a tournament the way she did will always be jarring.
What she shot: 75-76 (+9)
What went wrong: Lee just couldn’t make any birdies. She had just three circles on the card in two rounds — hardly the recipe for success in a major.
Is it surprising? No. Lee hasn’t made a cut on the LPGA Tour since January. The slump continues.