U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN
2019 U.S. Women's Open: Inside the Field May 28, 2019 | Charleston, S.C. By Joey Geske, USGA

So Yeon Ryu (2011) is one of 12 U.S. Women's Open champions in the field at Country Club of Charleston. (USGA/Chris Keane)

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WHO’S HERE

Among the 156 golfers in the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open, there are:

U.S. Women’s Open champions (12)

Na Yeon Choi (2012), In Gee Chun (2015), Paula Creamer (2010), Laura Davies (1987), Eun-Hee Ji (2009), Ariya Jutanugarn (2018), Cristie Kerr (2007), Brittany Lang (2016), Inbee Park (2008, 2013), Sung Hyun Park (2017), So Yeon Ryu (2011), Karrie Webb (2000, 2001)

U.S. Women’s Open runners-up (9)

Hye-Jin Choi (2017), Cristie Kerr (2000), Hyo-Joo Kim (2018), Brittany Lang (2005), Stacy Lewis (2014), Anna Nordqvist (2016), Morgan Pressel (2005), Angela Stanford (2003), Amy Yang (2012, 2015)

U.S. Senior Women’s Open champions (1)

Laura Davies (2018)

U.S. Women’s Amateur champions (6)

Danielle Kang (2010, 2011), Lydia Ko (2012), Jane Park (2004), Morgan Pressel (2005), Jennifer Song (2009), Emma Talley (2013)

U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champions (1)

Shannon Johnson (2018)

U.S. Girls’ Junior champions (6)

Ariya Jutanugarn (2011), Minjee Lee (2012), Amy Olson (2009), Inbee Park (2002), Jenny Shin (2006), Lexi Thompson (2008)

U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball champions (2)

Megan Furtney (2019), Kaitlyn Papp (2016)

U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links champions (1)

Jennifer Song (2009)

USA Curtis Cup Team members (20)

Sierra Brooks (2016), Paula Creamer (2004), Lindy Duncan (2012), Austin Ernst (2012), Cristie Kerr (1996), Jessica Korda (2010), Jennifer Kupcho (2018), Brittany Lang (2002), Andrea Lee (2016, 2018), Stacy Lewis (2008), Ally McDonald (2014), Amy Olsson (2012), Annie Park (2014), Jane Park (2004, 2006), Jennifer Song (2010), Mariah Stackhouse (2014), Angela Stanford (2000), Emma Talley (2014), Lexi Thompson (2010)

GB&I Curtis Cup Team members (8)

Laura Davies (1984), Georgia Hall (2014), Charley Hull (2012), Bronte Law (2012, 2014, 2016) Leona Maguire (2010, 2012, 2016), Stephanie Meadow (2012, 2014), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (2008), Charlotte Thomas (2014, 2016)

NCAA Division I champions (7)

Austin Ernst (2011, Louisiana State University), Maria Fassi (2019, University of Arkansas), Jennifer Kupcho (2018, Wake Forest University), Stacy Lewis (2007, University of Arkansas), Azahara Munoz (2008, Arizona State University), Annie Park (2013, University of Southern California), Emma Talley (2015, University of Alabama)

Mariah Stackhouse (2014) is one of 19 players in the field to have represented the U.S. in the Curtis Cup Match. (USGA/Chris Keane)

Olympic Medalists (3)

Shanshan Feng (2016, bronze, People’s Republic of China), Lydia Ko (2016, silver, New Zealand), Inbee Park (2016, gold, Republic of Korea)

Players with Most U.S. Women’s Open Appearances (2019 included)

Laura Davies (28), Cristie Kerr (24), Karrie Webb (24), Angela Stanford (20), Paula Creamer (17), Karine Icher (15), Brittany Lang (15), Jane Park (15), Shanshan Feng (13), Stacy Lewis (13), Inbee Park (13), Lexi Thompson (13), Amy Yang (13), Sandra Gal (12), Eun-Hee Ji (12), Jessica Korda (12), Jennifer Song (12), Na Yeon Choi (12)

Active Consecutive U.S. Women’s Open Appearances (2019 included)

Karrie Webb (24, 1996-2019), Cristie Kerr (22, 1998-2019), Angela Stanford (20, 2000-19), Paula Creamer (17, 2003-19), Brittany Lang (15, 2005-19), Shanshan Feng (13, 2007-19), Stacy Lewis (13, 2007-19), Lexi Thompson (13, 2007-19), Amy Yang (13, 2007-19), Jessica Korda (12, 2008-19)

Countries Represented (29)

Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong China, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Republic of Ireland, Republic of Korea, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United States of America

States Represented (23)

Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia

Amateur Players in the Field (26)

Ty Akabane, Sierra Brooks, Jennifer Chang, Celeste Dao, Brigitte Dunne, Megan Furtney, Megha Ganne, Leonie Harm, Paris Hilinski, Sabrina Iqbal, Jiwon Jeon, Shannon Johnson, Auston Kim, Gina Kim, Naomi Ko, Andrea Lee, Dasom Ma, Alexa Pano, Kaitlyn Papp, Gabriela Ruffels, Yuka Saso, Karoline Stormo, Nanako Ueno, Albane Valenzuela, Yuri Yoshida, Reagan Zibilski

Notable Amateur Storylines

Sierra Brooks, 20, of Orlando, Fla., a junior at the University of Florida, was runner-up at the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur, losing in the final to Hannah O’Sullivan. In her first season as a Gator, she won two of her first three events, becoming the first player in program history to do so. She was a member of the USA Curtis Cup Team in 2016. This April, Brooks competed in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur and finished T-10. She finished runner-up in the 2019 NCAA Championships this May.

Megan Furtney, 18, of South Elgin, Ill., became a USGA champion and qualified for her first U.S. Women’s Open within the same week this spring. She and fellow Duke incoming freshman Erica Shepherd captured the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball title at Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla., defeating Jillian Bourdage and Casey Weidenfeld, 2 and 1, in the final. Furtney is playing in her seventh USGA championship.

Jiwon Jeon, 22, of the Republic of Korea, a junior at the University of Alabama, was runner-up in the 2018 U.S. Women’s Amateur in Kingston Springs, Tenn., losing to her future college teammate Kristen Gillman, 7 and 6, in the final. Jeon finished first in the 2019 Schooner Fall Classic and set several Alabama records with her winning score of 17-under-par 196. She has competed on the last two International Arnold Palmer Cup teams and played in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur this April.

Andrea Lee, 20, of Hermosa Beach, Calif., is currently No. 4 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking™. She was a member of the USA Curtis Cup Teams in 2016 and 2018. A junior at Stanford University, she garnered several honors during her first two seasons, including Pac-12 freshman of the year, Ping/Women’s Golf Coaches Association freshman of the year, All-Pac 12 first team and WGCA first-team All-American. She finished runner-up in the 2018 NCAA Division I Championship to Wake Forest’s Jennifer Kupcho. Picking up where she left off, her junior season has included two individual victories and five top-five finishes. Lee was the runner-up in the 2016 U.S. Girls’ Junior, and a semifinalist in the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur.

Alexa Pano, 14, of Lake Worth, Fla., the youngest player in this year’s field, is playing in her first U.S. Women’s Open. She was runner-up to Yealimi Noh in the 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship and a semifinalist in the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball. Pano is a three-time Drive, Chip & Putt National Finalist and the only two-time champion (2016, 2017) in the event’s five-year history. She was a member of the victorious United States team in the 2018 Junior Ryder Cup in France and competed in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur this April as the field’s youngest player.

Youngest Competitor

At 14 years, 9 months and 10 days of age as of May 30 (the first day of the championship), Alexa Pano, of Lake Worth, Fla., is the championship’s youngest competitor.

Oldest Competitor

At age 55, Dame Laura Davies, of England, is the championship’s oldest competitor.

Field by Age

Age 14-19 – 19 players
Age 20-29 – 102 players
Age 30-39 – 29 players
Age 40-55 – 6 players

The average age of the championship field is 25.72.

Championship Birthdays

Three players in the U.S. Women’s Open field will celebrate a birthday during championship week: Carlota Ciganda of Spain (turning 29 on June 1), Jeongeun Lee 6 of Korea (turning 23 on May 28) and Minjee Lee of Australia (turning 23 on May 27).

Sisters in the Field

For the fifth consecutive year, and sixth time overall, sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn, of Thailand, are both in the field. Also in the field together for the fourth time are sisters Jessica and Nelly Korda. Nelly and Jessica were both exempt from qualifying by finishing inside the top 75 of the official LPGA Tour money list in 2018 as well as remaining in the top 50 point leaders on the current Rolex Rankings. The Jutanugarns and Kordas are two of seven sets of sisters to have competed in the same U.S. Women’s Open.

South Carolina Connections

This year’s U.S. Women’s Open features three players with ties to South Carolina.

Mi Hyang Lee is a resident of Columbia, S.C., and a member at Bythewood’s Cobblestone Park Golf Club. Originally from Korea, Lee moved to Columbia to be closer to her coach, Puggy Blackmon, the director of golf for the University of South Carolina.

Sarah Schmelzel, of Phoenix, Ariz., played for the University of South Carolina from 2012 to 2016. In her four years, she tallied eight top-10 finishes and the fourth-lowest career scoring average in program history.

Nanna Koerstz Madsen, of Denmark, also played her college golf at the University of South Carolina. Koerstz Madsen played for the Gamecocks in the fall of 2014 before becoming a professional in 2015. She earned top-10 finishes in each of her four events for South Carolina, including one victory.

What the Winner Receives

In addition to prize money, the champion will receive a gold medal, custody of the Harton S. Semple Trophy for the ensuing year and an exemption from qualifying for the next 10 U.S. Women’s Open Championships.

The Last Time it Happened at a U.S. Women’s Open Championship

Ariya Jutanugarn: last international winner (2018)
Karrie Webb: last to defend title (2001)
In Gee Chun: last champion to win Women’s Open on first attempt (2015)
Catherine Lacoste: last amateur to win Women’s Open (1967)
Annika Sorenstam: last start-to-finish winner (2006 – playoff)
So Yeon Ryu: last winner to birdie the 72nd hole (2011)
So Yeon Ryu: last winner to birdie the 72nd hole to force playoff (2011)
Inbee Park: last to win with four sub-par rounds (2008)
Eun-Hee Ji: last to win without a round in the 60s (2009)
Birdie Kim: last player to win after competing in sectional qualifying (2005)
Inbee Park, 19: last winner younger than 20 (2008)
Meg Mallon, 41: last winner over age 40 (2004)
Sung Hyun Park: last defending champion to miss the cut (2018)

Title Defense

Should Ariya Jutanugarn win, she would become the eighth player to successfully defend her championship title. She would join Mickey Wright (1958-59), Donna Caponi (1969-70), Susie Maxwell Berning (1972-73), Hollis Stacy (1977-78), Betsy King (1989-90), Annika Sorenstam (1995-96) and Karrie Webb (2000-01).

USGA Championships in South Carolina

The 2019 U.S. Women’s Open is the 18th USGA championship held in South Carolina. Most recently, The Dunes Golf & Beach Club hosted the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball, won by Alice Chen and Taylor Totland.

Future U.S. Women’s Open Host Sites

June 4-7, 2020 – Champions Golf Club, Houston, Texas
June 3-6, 2021 – The Olympic Club, San Francisco, Calif.
June 2-5, 2022 – Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club, Southern Pines, N.C.
June 1-4, 2023 – Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links
May 30-June 2, 2024 – Lancaster Country Club, Lancaster, Pa.
May 29-June 1, 2025 – Erin Hills, Erin, Wis.

Joey Geske is a communications intern for the USGA. Email him at jgeske@usga.org.