Eleven Women’s Open Champs to Compete in Senior Women’s Open
Field will include 55 exempt players; Sectional Qualifying begins April 17
The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced that 11 U.S. Women’s Open champions, including defending U.S. Senior Women’s Open Champion Laura Davies, are among the 55 players who are fully exempt into the 2nd U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship, scheduled for May 16-19, 2019 at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C.
For a list of the 55 golfers who are fully exempt into the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open (as of April 10) please visit www.usga.org.
“After a historic introduction of the U.S. Senior Women’s Open last year at Chicago Golf Club we are thrilled to continue to build the tradition of the championship at Pine Needles,” said John Bodenhamer, senior managing director of championships. “We’re excited to see the faces of those who participated in the 1996, 2001 and 2007 U.S. Women’s Open Championships return to compete for another title at such a famed golf course, as well as those who will tee it up there for the first time.”
The U.S. Senior Women’s Open is open to professional and amateur golfers who are 50 years of age on or before May 16 and whose Handicap Index® does not exceed 7.4. Sectional qualifying will be played over 18 holes at 17 sites across the United States between April 17-30. There are qualifying sites in 16 states, including two in New Jersey.
Online entries were accepted for the championship, beginning Feb. 20. The first overall entrant was Jane Noble, of Fountain Hills, Ariz. Her application was received at 9:07 a.m. EDT and she will play in the sectional qualifier at Briarwood Country Club, in Sun West City, Ariz. Lorie Kane, who has won four times on the LPGA Tour, was the first exempt player to apply to play. She also participated in the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship.
Launa Crites, of San Antonio, Texas, submitted her entry less than 14 minutes before the deadline of 5 p.m. EDT on April 10 and was the championship’s last entrant.
Three-time U.S. Women’s Open winner Hollis Stacy (1977, 1978 and 1984) and 10 other champions are fully exempt from having to qualify for the championship. They are: Amy Alcott (1980), Jerilyn Britz (1979), JoAnne Gunderson Carner (1971, 1976), Laura Davies (1987), Jane Geddes (1986), Juli Inkster (1999, 2002), Betsy King (1989, 1990), Liselotte Neumann (1988), Alison Nicholas (1997) and Jan Stephenson (1983). Of those who are exempt, 53 played in last year’s inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship at Chicago Golf Club.
The 2nd U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship will be the sixth USGA championship conducted at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club. Pine Needles is the first golf resort to be awarded four U.S. Women’s Open Championships. Its first U.S. Women’s Open Championship was held in 1996, when Annika Sorenstam took home the trophy. Karrie Webb won the 2001 championship at Pine Needles, and Cristie Kerr claimed the 2007 title at the resort. In addition to hosting the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship, Pine Needles will also be the home of the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open Championship.
Four exempt players participated in the 1996, 2001 and 2007 U.S. Women’s Open Championships at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club: Laura Davies, Wendy Doolan, Liselotte Neumann and Michele Redman.
The 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open will be the 30th USGA championship contested in North Carolina and the state’s first USGA championship since the 2014 Women’s Open, which was won by Michelle Wie at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club’s Course No. 2.
The USGA announced the establishment of the U.S. Senior Women’s Open on Feb. 6, 2015. During the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship at historic Chicago Golf Club, World Golf Hall of Famer Dame Laura Davies, of England, rolled to a 10-stroke victory over Juli Inkster. For more information about the U.S. Senior Women’s Open visit usseniorwomensopen.com.