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Golf in December? U.S. Women's Open tees off

Last Updated Dec 10, 2020 at 6:40 am MST

Brooke Henderson. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

HOUSTON (660 NEWS) — Very little in the world of sports has been normal in 2020, and that includes women’s golf.

Typically held in June, the U.S. Women’s Open was moved to December, and when it tees off Thursday at Houston’s Champions Golf Club, it’ll conclude the major season.

LISTEN: Golf journalist Adam Stanley helps preview 2020 U.S. Women’s Open

“It’s a special tournament,” golf journalist Adam Stanley told 660 NEWS. “It’s the 75th anniversary of the U.S. Women’s Open, massive purse, massive prestige, so they [organizers] decided to go with the full field: 156 players. And, as we all know, it’s the middle of December. Daylight is at a premium.”

And daylight is why the field is playing two courses before the cut.

“They decided to go full field, so 156 golfers,” he explained. “They didn’t want to reduce the number of players at all this year. They’re already using all of the daylight they possibly can in the middle of the summer when they’ve got 156 golfers going off two separate tees — the first and the tenth.

“Now that you add in approximately four hours less daylight in the middle of December, all they can really do is play the first tee, tenth and two separate golf courses to get all of the golfers through on Thursday and Friday.

“Once they make the cut, the weekend rounds, they’re only going to be played on one course, the Cypress course.”

RELATED: CP Women’s Open cancelled for 2020

And Cypress Creek has been good to Canadians in the past; that’s where Mike Weir won the Tour Championship in 2001.

But, a Canadian has never won the U.S. Women’s Open. Could it happen in 2020?

Brooke Henderson is going to be leading the charge, and I would say that even if I wasn’t Canadian,” Stanley offered. “Brooke’s been having a really, really good latter portion of the year.

“She struggled a little coming out after the COVID-19 break, but she’s played very well over the last few months: three straight top-six finishes, including at two major championships. Brooke is definitely one to watch this week.

Alena Sharp has played some of the most magical golf of the career over the last couple of years,” he said of the 39-year-old. “I like Alena in terms of being consistent. That’s been her ongoing descriptor in her career.”

The U.S. Women’s Open offers the largest purse in women’s golf: the winner receives $1 million.