In April 1977, when entries for the first U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship began to trickle in, there was concern.

Would this, the first national championship ever staged for women who play the country's public courses, attract enough players to fill the field? Did it justify the effort to set up 27 qualifying sites around the country?

By May the trickle of entries had become a steady stream. When the June deadline for entries arrived and the results were tallied, the astonishing reality was that this championship had attracted a field of 686 players — more than the combined fields of the 1977 Women's Amateur, Women's Open, Senior Women's Amateur, and Girls' Junior.

The entry figure was amazing for several reasons. First, this was a new championship that would need time to build interest. Secondly, some states didn't even have organizations to assist women public course players, conduct sectional qualifying, or raise funds, and the 686 entries were drawn from only 24 states.

The 1977 Championship was played at Yahara Hills Golf Course (East Course) in Madison, Wis. Kelly Fuiks, 19, of Phoenix, Ariz., was the first champion. In fact, for the first four years, the championship was the personal property of two outstanding players. Fuiks won again in 1978 before turning professional. Lori Castillo won in 1979 and 1980, and at one time held or shared every individual record in the championship. Miss Castillo won 11 consecutive matches before losing in the second round in 1981.

The championship received a boost when Castillo was selected as a member of the 1980 United States Curtis Cup team. By that year, the Women's Amateur Public Links was regarded as a highly competitive arena for some of the best amateurs in the country. Since then, Heather Farr, Danielle Ammaccapane, Cindy Schreyer, Tracy Kerdyk, Pearl Sinn, Tracy Hanson, Amy Fruhwirth, Jill McGill, and Jo Jo Robertson, all WAPL champions, also have been named to Curtis Cup teams.

Pearl Sinn accomplished a unique double in 1988 when she won the Women's Amateur as well as the Women's Amateur Public Links. When she repeated as WAPL Champion in 1989, she and Curtis Strange, who won the U.S. Open, were the only two to repeat as USGA champions that year.

McGill also achieved the double win. She was the holder of the 1993 U.S. Women's Amateur title when she won the 1994 Women's Amateur Public Links Championship.

The championship also is noteworthy because of its team trophy, which has been captured a record five times by a team from Phoenix, Ariz.

In 2002, the final was played over 36 holes for the first time. In 2005 a Handicap Index limit of 18.4 was added. 

Partner Links
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The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

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Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.

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IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

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Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

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American Express

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment

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