Lakota West grad will make third U.S. Women’s Open appearance this week

Marissa Steen trains at a number of Dayton-area golf courses

Credit: Scott Heppell

Credit: Scott Heppell

Marissa Steen walked off the course Monday at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club and provided her first thoughts on the site of the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open.

“It was great,” she said. “A bunch of rain came through late last week. I walked it on Saturday and hit a few shots. I played nine holes (Sunday). Even this morning, it was quite a bit firmer than it was yesterday when I played. I definitely think it’s going to firm up some more before before Thursday comes around. It’s a great test, a great golf course. I think definitely it’s a second-shot golf course. The greens are pretty tough. It’s a classic Donald Ross course. The (greens) fall off on every side. My caddy (Brian Grone) and I on every hole, we’re like, ‘Middle the green is pretty good.’ It’s a pretty good rule of thumb.”

Steen, a 2008 Lakota West graduate who lives northwest of Dayton in New Madison, will tee off at 12:41 p.m. Thursday in the first round in Southern Pines, N.C. She last played the course in college when she was at the University of Memphis. She doesn’t remember much about those rounds but will lean on the experience she gained in two previous U.S. Open experiences.

Steen did not make the cut at the 2014 U.S. Open in Pinehurst, N.C. She tied for 51st at the 2017 U.S. Open in Bedminster, N.J.

“I think the more you play these championships, the more you learn about what the USGA committee is going to do as far as course setup and potential hole locations,” Steen said. “Having that prior knowledge really helps. Playing in the U.S. Open is always a treat. The USGA always puts on first-class events for us, and it’s always a highlight week of the year. It’s always a fun week. The family always comes out. I always feel a lot of support from the people around me, and it’s just fun to have everybody here.”

Steen earned a spot in the U.S. Open by finishing second in a qualifying event at Shannopin Country Club near Pittsburgh on May 3. She has prepared in recent weeks for this opportunity by practicing at her home course, Turtle Creek Golf Course in Greenville. She also works at Shaker Run Golf Club in Lebanon with Tim Lambert, of the Tim Lambert Golf Academy. Her other main course is the Hamilton Elks Golf Club.

“When I’m home, I’m at Turtle Creek the most because it’s only 20 minutes from New Madison,” she said. “It’s the easiest drive. Shaker Run is more like an hour and 20 minutes. The Elks is just about an hour. Working with Tim Lambert, he’s at the Southwest Golf Ranch, so when I come down to work with him, I’ll kind of just make a day of it and go to him for a few hours and then go to either Shaker or the Elks.”

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