June 25, 2008–The U.S. Women's Open kicks off this week with several golfers with strong ties to Las Vegas golf in the field headed by Natalie Gulbis who lives on the holes of Reflection Bay Golf Club, one of three Las Vegas golf courses at Lake Las Vegas Resort. Other Las Vegas golfers going for the women's national championship this week include Kim Hall, Charlotte Mayorkas, Sunny Oh, Amy Hung, Inbee Park, and Jennie Lee. All of these ladies live in Las Vegas, but while Christie Kerr (pictured), the 2007 champion, doesn't live here, she says Gulbis is one of her best friends on the LPGA Tour, and Kerr also won an American Junior Golf Association event that was played in Las Vegas. Kerr won the 1995 Las Vegas Founders AJGA event played at Las Vegas' Legacy Golf Club with a three-round total of 209.
Earlier this week Kerr played a practice round with Gulbis, Kellee Booth and Morgan Pressel at the site of the Open, Interlachen Country Club in Minnesota. All are very close.
"They were bridesmaids in my wedding, all kind of co-maid of honors, if you will," Kerr told the media at a pre-U.S. Open press conference. "Natalie, I've been good friends with since she's been on Tour. And Morgan and Kellee I've known since (they were) 10 years old. Another bridesmaid was Emilee Klein, who is a retired player."
Booth won the Las Vegas AJGA event in 1994, also at Legacy Golf Club. The 2008 AJGA Las Vegas event was played at Angel Park Golf Club. Both Legacy and Angel Park Golf Club are operated by OB Sports, big contributors to junior golf.
Kerr says that is it neat to play against friends, but no matter the relationship, she wants to win.
"Well, it's pretty cool," said Kerr. "I played with Lorena and Morgan in the final group last year. It's amazing, you can be the best of friends and the fiercest of competitors once you get on the course. But we know it's not personal and you play against the golf course. We're all just trying to do the same thing and play against the golf course and see how good we can do."
Stick to GolfLasVegasNow.com this week for a behind-the-scenes look at the U.S. Women's Open from Women's Southern Nevada Golf Association president Sherry Corsello who is at the event in an official capacity.