U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN
11 Champions Among U.S. Women's Open Entrants
April 27, 2018 | Liberty Corner, N.J.
By Julia Pine, USGA
A total of 1,592 entries have been accepted for the 73rd U.S. Women’s Open Championship, which will be conducted May 31-June 3, 2018, at Shoal Creek in Alabama. It will be the first U.S. Women’s Open contested in the Yellowhammer State, and it’s just the third time in its history that the U.S. Women’s Open will be played prior to the U.S. Open.
This marks the fifth consecutive year the U.S. Women’s Open has received more than 1,500 entries. The 2015 championship at Lancaster (Pa.) Country Club holds the entry record with 1,873. Eleven U.S. Women’s Open champions are among the 93 players who are currently fully exempt into the championship.
“We are excited to see such a strong group of entrants from around the world for the 73rd U.S. Women’s Open Championship,” said Shannon Rouillard, championship director. “To host Alabama’s first U.S. Women’s Open is a historic moment for the USGA and the state of Alabama, and to have such a strong field represented in the championship is fitting.”
The USGA accepted entries for the 73rd U.S. Women’s Open from golfers in 46 states, 11 entrants from Alabama among them, as well as the District of Columbia and a total of 54 countries.
To be eligible for the U.S. Women’s Open, a player must have a Handicap Index® not exceeding 2.4, or be a professional. Sectional qualifying will be conducted over 36 holes between May 2-17. Qualifying will be held at 21 sites in the United States, as well as four international sites: one each in England, Japan, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Korea.
Sung Hyun Park, of Korea, who won the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., is one of 11 fully exempt U.S. Women’s Open champions. Park is joined by Brittany Lang (2016), In Gee Chun (2015), Michelle Wie (2014), Inbee Park (2013, 2008), Na Yeon Choi (2012), So Yeon Ryu (2011), Paula Creamer (2010), Eun-Hee Ji (2009), Cristie Kerr (2007) and Karrie Webb (2001, 2000).
This will be the third USGA championship conducted at Shoal Creek. In 1986, Stewart “Buddy” Alexander won the U.S. Amateur Championship, defeating Chris Kite, 5 and 3, in the final. In 2008, Cameron Peck captured the U.S. Junior Amateur, and his 10-and-8 victory over Evan Beck stands as the largest winning margin in Junior Amateur championship-match history.
The championship's youngest entrant is 11-year-old Avery Zweig, of McKinney, Texas. She will attempt to qualify at the sectional qualifying site in Westminster, Colo., on May 14. Laura Baugh is the championship's oldest entrant at age 62. She will attempt to qualify at the sectional qualifying site in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., on May 4.
Catriona Matthew, a 48-year-old professional from Scotland, was the first to apply when entries opened on March 7. The final entry came from Tori Peers, a 22-year-old amateur, of Grand Island, Neb., who filed 27 minutes before the 5 p.m. EDT deadline on April 25.
Players still have several opportunities to gain a full exemption into the U.S. Women’s Open. The winner of any LPGA co-sponsored events prior to the start of the U.S. Women’s Open, including this weekend’s inaugural LPGA Mediheal Championship in Daly City, Calif., will earn exemptions into the championship field. Additionally, any player in the top 50 point leaders and ties from the Rolex Rankings as of May 27 not already exempt will be added to the field.
Julia Pine is the manager of championship communications for the USGA. Email her at email@example.com.