Christine Meier Ready for U.S. Women's Open
July 2, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - A lifelong dream will come true this week for rising women's golf junior Christine Meier, who will participate in the 67th annual U.S. Women's Open July 5-8 (Thursday-Sunday) at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wis.
In Thursday's first round, Meier will tee off at 8 a.m. EDT from hole one in the first group of the day along with Katy Harris and Alison Walshe.
Meier qualified for the U.S. Open after taking second place at the Fox Chapel Golf Course in Pittsburgh on May 30 with a 151 (74-77). Meier earned one of two automatic spots at her qualifying event by defeating Samantha Swinehart of South Carolina in a playoff that went two holes.
Meier just recently completed her second season as a starter for the Spartans. She has helped MSU to back-to-back Big Ten titles and owns a 77.03 career scoring average through 62 rounds of play. As a sophomore, she compiled a 77.21 average and placed a season-high sixth at the Central District Invitational.
In addition to Meier, former Spartan Aimee Neff will also participate in the event. Neff was the first alternate at her qualifier, and received notice last week that she had made the field.
Before Meier left for Wisconsin, msuspartans.com had a chance to catch up with the native of Rochester Hills, Mich., to talk about playing in the U.S. Open.
What was your mindset during the qualifying tournament and what was the feeling like when you knew you had qualified to play in the U.S. Open?
"My goal was to make it to the U.S. Open; I've been trying for about five or six years now. I've been playing in those qualifiers since I was 14. It's something I've always wanted, but you just go into it (the qualifers) with everything you've got and see what happens.
"When I realized I was going to be in the playoff to go (to the U.S. Open), I was like, `OK, this is good, here we go. This is what you've worked for.'
"I ended up playing (in the playoff) against one of my good friends (Samantha Swinehart), which kind of stunk that one of us had to lose. When I made that putt on the final playoff hole, I looked over at my dad (Randy), and my dad was so excited. That's when it sunk in."
How have you been preparing for the U.S. Open the past month since you qualified, and how do you feel like you're playing?
"My dad and I talked about it, and we're trying to keep it as much like a normal tournament as possible. Because when you get there, the nerves will most definitely be there (laughing). But I feel like I've actually been really calm. I'm confident with the way I'm swinging right now, and my putting has been really, really good. I've just been trying to tune up my game a little bit to play well there."
Have you played Blackwolf Run (par 72, 6,944 yards) before?
"I haven't played it. I've talked to a couple of people who have played it and they said it was really firm and really fast. It's a lengthy course, which I like. I think it's all about hitting the fairways and so far I've been getting off the tee really well - I hope that stays in my game for the next week. There's three practice rounds, so I have some time to figure it out what I have to do."
As much as you want to prepare like it's any other tournament, this one is pretty special. Are you going to allow yourself some time to soak it all in?
"During the practice round days, it's definitely going to be filled with taking in the atmosphere. It's my first U.S. Open, it's a huge deal, and I want to meet all those people. (Former Spartan) Sue Ertl gave me some really good advice at the Michigan Open. She said don't be afraid to talk to people and to introduce yourself to those pros, because hopefully one day, I'll be out among them playing. So I'm excited to see how that goes."
How was the Michigan Open last week and what's it like to play with so many of your teammates and former Spartans? (Meier finished fifth among amateurs at the event)
"It was fun. I go to the Michigan Open every year and so does a majority of the team. It's always a fun tournament. My first round wasn't good, but in my second and third round I felt like I hit the ball better and I calmed down a little bit. It was a good tournament and I think it was good preparation to get all of those little kinks out before the Open."
Who are some of the people that are going out to Wisconsin to watch you play this weekend?
"My dad will be my caddy. My mom, grandma and sister are all coming, and I have a whole bunch of friends from high school that are coming as well. My instructor will be out there, and Coach (Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll) is planning on coming on the weekend. My old high school coach (Jeff Haney) is also going to be there. So a lot of people are coming out, which is exciting."
Follow the 67th annual U.S. Women's Open live on USGA.org. Below are the television times for the tournament (EDT):
at the official