2022 AIG Women’s Open: How to watch, who’s playing the historic major at Muirfield

Anna Nordqvist of Sweden tees off on the 10th hole during the Pro-Am prior to the AIG Women's Open at Muirfield.
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The women’s major season comes to a crescendo this week at the AIG Women’s Open, the fifth and final major of 2022, hosted at historic Muirfield in the county of East Lothian, Scotland.

Defending champion Anna Nordqvist leads a field of 144 players (136 pros, eight amateurs), who are competing for a $7.3 million prize purse – including the $1.095 million first-place prize. Forty-four of the top 50 players in the Rolex Ranking are playing, including 18 of the top 20. Missing are No. 15 Min Ji Park and No. 16 Danielle Kang, while 15 of 16 winners on the LPGA Tour in 2022 also are playing, with only the injured Kang being absent.

Hometown heroine Catriona Matthew, who hails from North Berwick, Scotland, will have the honor of hitting the first tee shot at 6:30 a.m. local time. Matthew, who grew up on the Wee Course at nearby North Berwick Golf Club and still lives there with her husband and two daughters, shared her perspective on the historic moment at Muirfield, which invited women to join its membership just three years ago.

“I think you just have to look forward rather than look backwards,” said Matthew, a four-time LPGA winner and two-time captain of the European Solheim Cup team. “Golf, starting in Scotland, we had a lot more traditions perhaps; that we’re just gradually moving with the times.”

How to watch the 2022 AIG Women’s Open (all times ET)  

  • Thursday: 6 a.m.-1 p.m., USA
  • Friday: 6 a.m.-1 p.m., USA
  • Saturday: 8 a.m.-noon, USA; noon-3 p.m., NBC
  • Sunday: 8 a.m.-noon, USA; noon-3 p.m., NBC

Streaming: News and tournament action from the AIG Women’s Open is available any time on any mobile device and online through NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Who’s playing in the 2022 AIG Women’s Open

New Zealand’s Lydia Ko, No. 4 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, arrives at Muirfield among the betting favorites, with world No. 3 Nelly Korda close behind along with reigning U.S. Women’s Open champion and world No. 2 Minjee Lee and recent Evian Championship winner Brooke Henderson.

The field features 10 past winners of this event since it became a major in 2001, plus Dame Laura Davies, who won the event in 1986:

  • Catriona Matthew (Scotland), 2009
  • Stacy Lewis (USA), 2013
  • Mo Martin (USA), 2014
  • Inbee Park (South Korea), 2015
  • Ariya Jutanugarn (Thailand), 2016
  • I.K. Kim (South Korea), 2017
  • Georgia Hall (England), 2018
  • Hinako Shibuno (Japan), 2019
  • Sophia Popov (Germany), 2020
  • Anna Nordqvist (Sweden), 2021

Like the other four women’s majors, the Women’s Open gives amateurs a chance to shine next to the pros, and this year’s group features:

  • Mizuki Hashimoto (Japan), 2021 Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific champion
  • Valery Plata (Colombia), 2021 Women’s Amateur Latin America champion
  • Rose Zhang (USA), 2021 McCormack Medal winner
  • Jess Baker (England), 2022 Women’s Amateur champion
  • Savannah De Bock (Belgium), 2022 European Ladies’ Amateur champion
  • Anna Davis (USA), 2022 Augusta National Women’s Amateur champion
  • Caley McGinty (England), 2022 highest WAGR-ranked GB&I player

Last year at the 2021 Women’s Open

Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist ended a nearly four-year win drought last year at the Women’s Open at Carnoustie, where she captured his third career major title. After opening with back-to-back rounds of 71, the 34-year-old Nordqvist vaulted to a share of the lead with a third-round 65. She shot 69 in the final round to finish at 12-under 276, beating Lizette Salas, Georgia Hall and Madelene Sagstrom by one stroke.

Nordqvist came to her 72nd hole tied with Madsen, and her par at the last proved enough after Madsen made double bogey. It was Nordqvist’s first win in four years and marked the ninth LPGA title of her career. Nordqvist will look to become the first player since Yani Tseng (2010-2011) to successfully defend her title since the tournament became a major in 2001.

Past champions of the Women’s Open (winning score, venue)

  • 2021: Anna Nordqvist (Sweden), 12-under 276, Carnoustie (Championship Course)
  • 2020: Sophia Popov (Germany), 7-under 277, Royal Troon (Old Course)
  • 2019: Hinako Shibuno (Japan), 18-under 270, Woburn (Marquess Course)
  • 2018: Georgia Hall (England) 17-under 271, Royal Lythem & St. Annes
  • 2017: In-Kyung Kim (South Korea) 18-under 270, Kingsbarns
  • 2016: Ariya Jutanugarn (Thailand), 16-under 272, Woburn (Marquess Course)
  • 2015: Inbee Park (South Korea), 12-under 276, Turnberry
  • 2014: Mo Martin (USA), 1-under 287, Royal Birkdale
  • 2013: Stacy Lewis (USA), 8-under 280, St. Andrews
  • 2012: Jiyai Shin (South Korea), 9-under 279, Royal Liverpool

About Muirfield

This year marks the first AIG Women’s Open to be played at Muirfield, which has hosted 16 men’s Open Championships (most recently in 2013, won by Phil Mickelson), 11 Amateur Championships, two Walker Cups, one Ryder Cup (1973) and one Senior Open Championship (2007).

Par is 72 (36-36), with scorecard yardage for the tournament stretching to 6,680 yards. Of note, Muirfield features 147 bunkers and no water hazards, with the greens, tees, fairways and rough comprised of bent grass and fescue.

While the club was founded in 1744, the course opened in 1891 with 16 holes originally designed by Tom Morris Sr. The course consisted of 117 acres enclosed by a stone wall, and the layout was expanded to 18 holes in 1892 – just in time to host its first Open Championship and first R&A championship that same year. Of note, the 1892 Open also marked the first year the event was contested over 72 holes, and in 1966, Muirfield also became the site of the first Open that was played over four days.

The NBC research team contributed to this report.

Justine Wong-Orantes’ atypical path to becoming one of the best liberos in the world

Justine Wong-Orantes hits the ball in the women's semi-final volleyball match between USA and Serbia during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
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It’s been 20 years since the same nation held both the Olympic and world volleyball titles at the same time, but libero Justine Wong-Orantes is looking to help lead Team USA accomplish that very feat at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championships in the Netherlands and Poland. Competition began on Friday and the U.S. is currently 2-0 after group play wins against Kazakhstan and Canada.

“We’re trying to win, for sure,” Wong-Orantes told On Her Turf. “I think, especially with the new turn of the program and the new year of the quad, we just have a really nice blend of veterans and also newcomers on the team.”

The 14-woman roster for Team USA, which is ranked No. 1 in the world and won its first Olympic title last summer, features six players from that gold-medal-winning team. And while Wong-Orantes is among the 2021 U.S. Olympic team veterans, she’s still a relative newcomer to international play.

The Southern California native enjoyed a notable junior career – she was 12 when she became the youngest female to ever earn an AAA rating in beach volleyball – and was a standout collegian at Nebraska, where she was a member of the 2015 NCAA championship team. But Wong-Orantes followed a different path upon graduation, initially choosing not to go overseas to play professionally.

While she was first selected for the U.S. national team in 2016 and played a handful of international tournaments in the following years, it wasn’t until she started playing professionally in Germany in 2019 that she saw the potential to elevate her position on the roster. In particular, the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics gave her an additional year of overseas experience, which she calls “a blessing in disguise.”

“I just felt like I was still in that developmental stage,” she said. “And a whole year postponement allowed me to go overseas and really get all the touches, all the repetitions, and just kind of expose myself to international volleyball another year. So I was, in hindsight, pretty thankful for that COVID season because I got an extra year under my belt, and I think that just gave me a ton of confidence.”

Ahead of the Olympics, Wong-Orantes earned “best libero” honors at the 2021 FIVB Volleyball National League in Rimini, Italy, which helped secure her spot on the Olympic roster. In Tokyo, she followed up with another standout performance and was named best libero of the Olympic tournament.

As to how the Wong-Orantes transformed into one of the world’s top liberos, she points to her background as a beach volleyball player. She began competing at age 8, and her first partner was Sara Hughes, a star on the AVP Pro Tour who also won two NCAA titles with USC.

“I think having that background and just the court awareness that beach volleyball forces you to have allowed me to really have a good read on the game,” said Wong-Orantes. “I think that’s what makes a great libero is just reading and always being reactive towards the ball.”

Wong-Orantes also credits the assistance of mental coach Sue Enquist, a former UCLA softball coach and U.S. national team coach, who now helps teams work on their culture and relationships. Enquist began working with the U.S. volleyball team during the pandemic and has continued in her role ever since.

“We just worked on a lot of stuff within ourselves, within our program, how to communicate with each other off the court, and I think that honestly propelled us into such a high, high level with how we worked with each other, and then that transferred onto the court,” explained Wong-Orantes, who noted the team has Enquist on speed dial while at the World Championship. “I really commend Sue. I just really give a lot of praise to her because I think our culture was never bad, but I think [she] just transformed into a different level.”

2022-09-26 - FIVB Volleyball Womens World Championship 2022 - Day 4
ARNHEM, NETHERLANDS – Justine Wong-Orantes (far right) poses for a photo with her U.S. teammates after defeating Canada at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship on September 26, 2022. (Photo by Rene Nijhuis/Orange Pictures/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Wong-Orantes said she and her U.S. teammates are on their toes for the world championships, which features twice as many teams (24) as the Olympics and a “more grueling” format.

“It’s going to be a long tournament, and I think we’re really going to need all 14 of us that are here. I’m pretty certain that, at any given moment, someone’s going to be called on and someone’s going to need to step up in big moments.”

2022 Ascendant LPGA: How to watch, who’s playing in Texas’s annual signature event

Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand hits her second shot on the 16th hole during the final round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.
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The LPGA make its annual stop in The Colony, Texas, this week for the 10th edition of the Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America, where Thailand’s 19-year-old rookie Atthaya Thitikul comes in hot off her second career win and second playoff victory this season at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.

Leading the 132-player field at Old American Golf Club, located at Golf Clubs at The Tribute, are Texas residents and past champions Cheyenne Knight and Angela Stanford. They’ll compete for the $1.7 million prize purse alongside major champions Nelly KordaLydia Ko and Brooke Henderson. Last year’s Ascendant LPGA champion, world No. 1 Jin Young Ko, will not be defending her title after announcing earlier this month she would be missing several weeks due to a nagging wrist injury.

This past weekend in Arkansas, Thitikul took the lead with a 10-under 61 in the second round and shot 68 in the final round to finish regulation tied with Danielle Kang at 17-under 196. Thitikul, who won the JTBC Classic in March in a two-hole playoff vs. Nanna Koerstz Madsen, drained an 8-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to secure the win over Kang.

How to watch the 2022 Ascendant LPGA 

Coverage of the 2022 Ascendant LPGA from Old American Golf Club in The Colony, Texas, can be found on Golf Channel, with streaming options available any time on any mobile device and online through NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

  • Thursday, Sept. 29: 12:30-3:30 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Friday, Sept. 30: 12:30-3:30 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Saturday, Oct. 1: 1-4 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Sunday, Oct. 2: 1-4 p.m. ET, Golf Channel

Who’s playing in the 2022 Ascendant LPGA

Six of the top 10 players in the Rolex World Rankings are among the field in Texas, including:

  • No. 2 Nelly Korda
  • No. 4 Lydia Ko
  • No. 5 Atthaya Thitikul
  • No. 6 Brooke Henderson
  • No. 7 Lexi Thompson
  • No. 10 Nasa Hataoka

A number of local Texans also are in the tournament, headlined by past champions, Angela Stanford (2020) and Cheyenne Knight (2019), and two junior champions of the Volunteers of America Classic Girls Championship, who are playing on a sponsor exemption: Yunxuan (Michelle) Zhang (2022), a freshman at SMU, and Avery Zweig (2021), a high school sophomore from McKinney, Texas.

Past five champions of The Ascendant LPGA

2021 Jin Young Ko (South Korea) 16-under 268 1 stroke Matilda Castren
2020 Angela Stanford (USA) 7-under 277 2 strokes So Yeon Ryu, Inbee Park, Yealimi Noh
2019 Cheyenne Knight (USA) 18-under 266 2 strokes Brittany Altomare, Jaye Marie Green
2018 Sung Hyun Park (South Korea) 11-under 131 1 stroke Lindy Duncan
2017 Haru Nomura (Japan) 3-under 281 Playoff Christie Kerr

Last time at The Ascendant LPGA

South Korea’s Jin Young Ko carded a final-round 69 to maintain her 54-hole lead at Old American Golf Club and held on for a one stroke win at the 2021 Volunteers of America Classic, her eighth career LPGA tour title. Ko finished regulation at 16-under 268, edging Finland’s Matilda Castren by one stroke.

It kicked off a five-win season for Ko, who had just lost her No. 1 ranking to Nelly Korda the week prior after holding the top spot for 100 straight weeks. She regained the No. 1 ranking back in October 2021, after earning her fourth win in seven starts at the BMW Ladies Championship.

More about Old American Golf Club

Opened in 2010, the Old American Golf Club is one of two clubs at The Tribute, a lakefront resort community on Lewisville Lake in The Colony, Texas. Designed by Tripp Davis and 12-time PGA Tour winner Justin Leonard, Old American plays as a Par 71 and stretches to 6,475 yards on the tournament scorecard.