Reigning U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Emma Talley is among the nine amateurs who have accepted invitations to play in the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship, to be held April 3-6 on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Talley, a sophomore at the University of Alabama, joins fellow USGA champion Minjee Lee (2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior), 17, of Australia, in the field of the year’s first women’s professional major championship.
Kraft Nabisco officials traditionally invite top amateurs, with the reigning U.S. Women’s Amateur champion receiving an automatic invitation.
Collegiate standouts Annie Park (University of Southern California) and Alison Lee (UCLA), the latter a semifinalist in last year’s U.S. Women’s Amateur and the runner-up to Minjee Lee in the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior, are also headed to the Kraft. They will be joined by Nelly Korda, 15, and Brooke Mackenzie Henderson, 16, both of whom made the 36-hole cut at last year’s U.S. Women’s Open at Sebonack Golf Club. Henderson also helped Canada capture the overall title at the 2013 Copa de las Americas at Trump National Doral.
Korda is the sister of 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur runner-up and 2010 USA Curtis Cup Team member Jessica Korda, who won the 2013 Australian Open.
Other amateurs to receive invitations include Clemson freshman Ashlan Ramsey, the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links runner-up, and 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur quarterfinalist Su-Hyun Oh, 17, of Australia.
The ninth invitee is Angel Yin, 15, of Rancho Mirage, Calif., who made the cut in last year’s Kraft after earning a spot through a junior qualifying tournament. Yin was the youngest competitor in the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open, held at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wis.
All of the aforementioned players except for Nelly Korda and Yin are among the top 10 in the current Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), headlined by Minjee Lee, who took over the No. 1 spot on Feb. 26. Minjee Lee won the Oates Victorian Open in Australia in February and tied for fourth at the Ladies European Tour World Ladies Championship in China in early March.
Park and Alison Lee are Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, in the WAGR, followed by Oh (5), Henderson (6), Ramsey (7) and Talley (10).