As the saying goes, in order to be the best, one has to beat the best.
That adage justifiably applies to this year's U.S. Women's Open, which will feature former world No. 1 Nelly Korda, who was sidelined for the Chevron Championship with a blood clot, current world No. 1 Jin Young Ko and world No. 3 Lydia Ko.
The second major of the year will also include defending champion Yuka Saso, up-and-comer and Chevron winner Jennifer Kupcho and former Open champ Michelle Wie West.
And while the level of competition is enough to build up the anticipation for golf fans around the world, there's another major component that will make this weekend's action must-see-TV: the money.
The USGA announced that the purse for the 77th USWO would double last year's total to an unprecedented $10 million, the largest ever in LPGA Tour history.
Tee times begin Thursday at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, North Carolina, with the culmination of the winner on Sunday.
Here's a quick look at everything to know heading into the Open.
Dates: Thursday, June 2, to Sunday, June 5
Live TV Coverage:
- Round 1 - Thursday, June 2: 3-8 p.m. ET (USA)
- Round 2 - Friday, June 3: 3-8 p.m. (USA)
- Round 3 - Saturday, June 4: 1-3 p.m. (USA); 3-6 p.m. (NBC)
- Round 4 - Sunday, June 5: 1-3 p.m. (USA); 3-7 p.m. (NBC)
Tee Times: A full list of tee times can be found at USGA.org
Prize Money: A $10 million purse, with $1.8 million going to the winner
The 2022 USWO will have an incredible field of competitors, but for one in particular, this will be her last.
Michelle Wie West is retiring from the LPGA, and Southern Pines will be her swan song.
The former child prodigy, who's been in the competitive golf spotlight since she was 10, holds a special affinity for the USWO, not only because it's the one event she's always had her sights on, but also because she finally won it in 2014.
"[The U.S. Women's Open] means everything to me," the 32-year-old told Emilia Migiaccio of Golf Channel.com. "It was the one tournament I wanted to win ever since I started playing golf. If I hadn't won the 2014 U.S. Open, I definitely wouldn't retire, and I would still be out here playing and chasing that win."
Wie West will likely compete in the 2023 U.S. Women's Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links, but this is her final bow in the USWO.
And while she's only won five LPGA events to date, she has no regrets looking back on her career, her win in 2014 and her graduation from Stanford.
"I have zero regrets in my career. I have definitely had an up-and-down career, but I'm extremely proud for the resiliency that I've shown." Wie West said. "To check both of those off the list means everything to me. I'm very proud of myself. I've always wished I would have done more, but I feel like everyone kind of feels that way, so I'm definitely giving myself some grace and enjoying this last week."
If the Honolulu native somehow went out on a high note with her second win at Southern Pines, it would make for an inspired story in golf.
But that might be a tall order considering that she'll be up against some of the best golfers in the world.
Korda, currently ranked No. 2 in the world after winning Olympic gold in Tokyo last year, has been out with a blood clot since March, and is ready to get back on the course to continue her winning ways.
"I kind of just made sure that I was ready and 100 percent going into my comeback," Korda told Golfweek's Beth Ann Nichols. "and I didn't really want to rush it or anything. I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to have any issues, even if it was just with like a little bit of my shoulder bugging me coming back in."
Saso, 20, will be trying to be just the third player to win back-to-back at Pine Needles.
"I wouldn't compare myself to Annika and Karrie Webb," Saso told Madison Donley of LPGA.com. "They're awesome players. They're legends. I will do my best, but whatever the outcome is, I'll be grateful. ...
"I think in the U.S. Open, you need everything, not just one part of your game. I think everything has to be good. The golf course is great, very beautiful, and very difficult, especially the greens. I think it's going to be a great challenge for all of us."
No matter who takes home the trophy, golf fans should be in for a litany of incredible putts and shots on one of the tour's most beautiful golf courses.