SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN, Ariz. -- The Phoenix stop on the LPGA Tour has a new home, and it's a haven for long hitters.
"It's a bomber's course, and it's just beautiful," said 14-year-old Michelle Wie, who had seven drives of 285 yards or longer in her pro-am round Tuesday.
The four-day, $1.2 million event begins today on a par-72, 6,620-yard course in the shadow of the Superstition Mountains. The course is longer than any of last year's LPGA layouts, including the US Women's Open. It's nearly 500 yards longer than the site of last week's season-opening Welch's/Fry's Championship in Tucson, where Karen Stupples shot 22 under par for a tour-record score of 258. The Prospector Course is about 100 yards longer than the Mission Hills layout for next week's Kraft Nabisco Championship, the season's first major. "This golf course is in such good shape that it prepares us really well for next week," said Annika Sorenstam, who makes her season debut this week. "It's a bit longer than we used to play at Moon Valley." A long course is fine with Sorenstam, who won the LPGA driving title last year with a 269.7-yard average.
As for Wie, not everything is to the teen's liking in the first of six LPGA events she plans to enter this year. "It's kind of hot," she said.
That's true, even by Arizona standards for mid-March. Temperatures are expected to top 90 degrees through the weekend.