Sixteen U.S. Women's Open Champions to Compete in Inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open
Field will include 61 exempt players
By Brian Weis
The United States Golf Association (USGA) recently announced that 16 past U.S. Women's Open champions are among the 61 players who are fully exempt into the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open, scheduled for July 12-15, 2018 at Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Ill.
"We're thrilled by the response our USGA champions have had to this inaugural championship, and know Chicago Golf Club will provide an outstanding venue for fans to watch some of the game's greats tee it up on what will now be senior women's golf's grandest stage," said Mike Davis, USGA CEO. "The consistent growth in women's golf has been inspiring, and we hope this inaugural event is just one of many great new moments for this important segment of the game."
The U.S. Senior Women's Open is open to professional golfers, and amateurs with a Handicap Index not exceeding 7.4 who are 50 years of age at the start of championship play.
Sectional qualifying will be played over 18 holes at 17 sites across the United States between June 4-20. There are qualifying sites in 16 states, including two in California. The USGA accepted 462 entries from golfers in 39 states for the inaugural championship, including 73 from Florida.
Three-time U.S. Women's Open winner Hollis Stacy and 15 other champions - four of them two-time winners - are fully exempt from having to qualify for the championship. They are Amy Alcott (1980), Pat Bradley (1981), Jerilyn Britz (1979), Laura Davies (1987), Jane Geddes (1986), JoAnne Gunderson Carner (1971, 1976), Juli Inkster (1999, 2002), Betsy King (1989, 1990), Murle Lindstrom Breer (1962), Lauri Merten (1993), Liselotte Neumann (1988), Alison Nicholas (1997), Sandra Palmer (1975), Patty Sheehan (1992, 1994), Hollis Stacy (1977, 1978, 1984), and Jan Stephenson (1983).
There are also six U.S. Women's Open runners-up entered. They are: Helen Alfredsson (2008), Donna Andrews (1993), Tammie Green-Parker (1994), Rosie Jones (1984), Sally Little (1978, 1986), and Kris Tschetter (1996).
The inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open Championship will be the 12th USGA championship conducted at Chicago Golf Club and the first Open championship played at the club in 107 years, since John J. McDermott became the first American-born player to win the U.S. Open in a three-man playoff against Mike Brady and George Simpson in 1911. The club also hosted the U.S. Open in 1897 and 1900. Chicago Golf Club has also hosted four U.S. Amateur Championships, one U.S. Women's Amateur and one U.S. Senior Amateur. It also hosted the Walker Cup Match in 1928 and 2005, both of which were won by the USA Team.
Online entries were accepted for the championship, beginning on March 7. Susan West of Tuscaloosa, Ala., whose application was received at 9:04 a.m. on March 7 and who will play in the sectional qualifier at Bent Creek Golf Club in Eden Prairie, Minn., was the first overall entrant. Pat Bradley, who won 31 times on the LPGA Tour, including six major championships, was the first exempt player to apply to play. Her 1981 U.S. Women's Open victory came at La Grange Country Club, less than 20 miles from Chicago Golf Club.
"I've had the Senior Women's Open on my calendar for 17 years, so to say I was excited to apply to play in this championship is an understatement," said Bradley. "It'll bring back some great memories to go back to the Chicago area and compete for an Open title."
Lynn Thompson, 60, of Cincinnati, Ohio, submitted her entry less than three minutes before the deadline of 5 p.m. EDT on May 23 and was the championship's last entrant.
More information about the U.S. Senior Women's Open before, during and after the 2018 championship at Chicago Golf Club can be found at www.usseniorwomensopen.com.
The list of the 61 golfers who are fully exempt into the 2018 U.S. Senior Women's Open:
JoAnne Gunderson Carner
Mary Jane Hiestand
Murle Lindstrom Breer
Revised: 06/18/2018 - Article Viewed 485 Times
Written By: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
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