Between May 7 and May 30, qualifiers at 20 sites will help determine the field at Sebonack Golf Club May 6, 2013 By USGA

Amanda Blumenherst, the 2008 U.S. Women's Amateur champion, is one of several notable names at the first U.S. Women's Open qualifier, taking place May 7 at The Elkridge Club in Baltimore. (USGA/John Mummert)

The road to the U.S. Women’s Open begins today at The Elkridge Club in Baltimore, the first 36-hole sectional qualifier to determine who will make it to Sebonack Golf Club for a chance to succeed 2012 champion Na Yeon Choi.

Among the competitors at Elkridge are 2008 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Amanda Blumenherst, 2006 U.S. Women’s Open runner-up Pat Hurst and 1994 U.S. Womens’s Amateur champion Wendy Ward.

Other notable players at Elkridge are LPGA Tour winners Jeong Jang, Christina Kim, Janice Moodie and Stacy Prammanasudh.  

Sectional qualifying will continue at 19 other sites through May 30, and the championship will take place June 27-30 at Sebonack, located in Southampton, N.Y. Sites for sectional qualifying include Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City, Calif.; Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach, Fla.; Bent Tree Country Club in Dallas, and Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.

Of the 20 qualifiers, 17 are conducted by state and regional golf associations on behalf of the USGA.

“Without the vital support from our friends at state and regional golf associations, we simply could not conduct the qualifiers and, in turn, the championship,” said USGA Vice President and Championship Committee Chairman Thomas J. O’Toole Jr. “We extend to them our gratitude for their critical role in conducting the U.S. Women’s Open, the most prestigious championship in all of women’s golf.”

The USGA received a record 1,420 entries for the U.S. Women’s Open; of those entrants, 84 players, including 10 champions, are currently exempt.

In addition to qualifying, several opportunities remain to earn exemptions into the championships. Winners of an official LPGA Tour event through the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, which ends June 23, the winner of the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship (provided she remains an amateur), which ends June 15, and the top 25 players on the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings as of June 24 will receive exemptions.