Stephanie Meadow is hoping to roll back the years in this week’s $10m US Women’s Open and show the putting form that helped her finish third on her debut in the biggest event in women’s golf.
The Jordanstown grinder took her professional bow in the 2014 US Women’s Open at Pinehurst No 2 and finished an incredible third behind Michelle Wie. Wie is stepping away from the LPGA, but Meadow is still chasing her dream, and she believes her grinding game and improved putting is a great fit at Pine Needles.
“I think it’s going to suit more of a steady player than somebody you kind of bombs it and makes lots of birdies,” said Meadow (30), who’s joined in North Carolina by Solheim Cup star Leona Maguire.
“I think it’s more about how many bogeys you don’t make as opposed to how many birdies you make, so that’s going to be key, and that fits right into my game. I know 18- or 20-under is not going to win in a Major, though you never know. I think it’s more about having a steady game, and that’s been my MO for quite a long time, so I’m excited.”
Meadow struggled to keep her card in 2019 and 2021, but she’s 62nd in the LPGA rankings this year.
“My putting’s the thing that’s made the difference so far this year,” she said.
“In the weeks that I’ve played well, I’ve gained something like 7 to 10 shots on the field, so that’s something I have to continue doing.”
Meadow won her career biggest cheque, $271,373, in that $4m US Open at Pinehurst in 2014 but she’s a far better player now.
“Coming back to North Carolina definitely brought a lot of great memories back,” she said. “It’s crazy to think it’s been eight years.
“That’s kind of scary, but it’s a similar golf course. You just have to hit good shots and make some putts. One year doesn’t mean then the next year, but it’s still great memories of where my career started, and it’s nice to come back.
“Major weeks are always fun, especially this week when we’re playing for the biggest purse in the history of women’s golf. It’s incredible. I’m just really thankful the USGA bumped up the purse and put pressure and everyone else to bump up theirs.”