Keeps closing in on her first major and first pro victory. Many believe she already is the most talented player in women's golf, but she showed a major weakness in her putting at the U.S. Open men's qualifier and at the LPGA Championship. Came within birdie putts of 10 feet and 50 feet of getting into a playoff at the first two majors of the year. Received a sponsor's exemption for the second straight year, which is sure to annoy her peers.
2 of 10AP
Captured her seventh major and first in four years at the Nabisco by holing a wedge from 116 yards for eagle on the last hole, then winning in a playoff. Showed she was back by winning big at Kingsmill. The U.S. Women's Open once was her domain, winning back-to-back by a combined 13 shots. Lost in a playoff at the LPGA Championship when Se Ri Pak hit a utility club to 2 inches.
3 of 10AP
Hard to believe the best player of her generation has not won the biggest prize in women's golf in 10 years. Showed up at the Open last year going for the Grand Slam, but hasn't won a major since then. Won her first start of the year, but now in her longest drought in five years. Not quite as accurate off the tee, and can't seem to put four rounds together. Comes into this major on a two-week break, although pressure is mounting to show she's not in a slump.
4 of 10Scott Halleran/Getty Images
In a year of resurgent Hall of Famers, this fits perfectly for Inkster. She worked extraordinarily hard on her game during the offseason and won in Phoenix for her first victory in three years. One of the best putters on the U.S. tour, adequate length and a great head for the Open. Came from two shots behind to beat Annika Sorenstam in 2002.
5 of 10AP
Had a chance to win the Open last year until popping up a 3-wood into the water on the 18th hole when she could have posted an early score. Also squandered a lead in the Kraft Nabisco before making a 6-foot eagle putt on the final hole to force a playoff. Dynamic player, capable of running off a string of birdies. The hottest player in women's golf this year, but faded in the LPGA Championship. Needs to show a good finishing kick to join the elite.
6 of 10AP
Arguably the best young American player no longer in high school, Kerr did not seriously contend in a major until two weeks ago at the LPGA Championship, when she hit a 9-iron into the water on the last hole. Good all-around game, streaky with the putter. Takes herself and her game seriously, but shows no fear. Needs to start strong to give herself a chance at a good finish.
7 of 10
Se Ri Pak
Went two years without winning, one year without a top 10, then recaptured glory at Bulle Rock with a utility club from 201 yards that stopped 2 inches from the hole for a birdie to beat Webb in a playoff at the LPGA Championship for her fifth major. Supremely gifted, now has more joy on the golf course and could carry the confidence from the last major into the biggest.
8 of 10Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Coming off sterling rookie season, has been a disappointment in the first half of this year after getting smoked by Sorenstam in the final round in Mexico. Had early weekend times at both majors. Has been struggling with a slight sprain in her wrist the last month, which might be messing with her head. Will need to keep the ball in play to have any chance at Newport.
9 of 10AP
Qualified for her first U.S. Women's Open at age 12, then nearly became the youngest major champion last year at Cherry Hills until she watched from the 18th fairway as Birdie Kim holed a bunker shot for birdie. Recently turned 18 and graduated from high school, but results have been slow this year. Has a knack for getting the ball in the hole, and a solid putter. Must learn to control her emotions on the course, and stop worrying about Michelle Wie.
10 of 10AP
A dynamic player who won six times in Japan last year, she earned her U.S. LPGA Tour card by winning Q-school by a record 12 shots. Lost final-round leads in consecutive weeks, but has adjusted quickly to American golf and could be a factor at Newport. Long, fluid swing and a beautiful putter. Gave herself a chance at the LPGA Championship, but didn't show much gas at the end.
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