For the second consecutive year, more than 1,800 entries were accepted by the USGA for the U.S. Women’s Open Championship. A total of 1,855 players, 18 shy of the record set in 2015 for the championship at Lancaster (Pa.) Country Club, have filed an entry to compete in the 71st U.S. Women’s Open July 7-10 at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif., the first time the event will be played in the Bay Area.
Among this year’s total are 93 fully exempt players, including 10 Women’s Open champions.
“We are excited to see such a strong group of entrants from around the world for the 71st U.S. Women’s Open,” said Stuart Francis, chairman of the USGA Championship Committee. "As the final eligible event before the selection of the 2016 Olympic teams, the U.S. Women’s Open and CordeValle, our beautiful host site, stand ready to provide the stern challenge that is the hallmark of this championship.”
To be eligible for the U.S. Women’s Open, a player must have a Handicap Index® not exceeding 2.4, or be a professional. Sectional qualifying will be conducted over 36 holes between May 9 and June 3. Qualifying will be held at 21 sites in the United States, as well as four international sites – one each in the People’s Republic of China, England, the Republic of Korea and Japan.
In Gee Chun, who won the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open in her first championship appearance, is one of 10 fully exempt champions. Chun is joined by Na Yeon Choi (2012), Paula Creamer (2010), Eun-Hee Ji (2009), Cristie Kerr (2007), Se Ri Pak (1998), Inbee Park (2008, 2013), So Yeon Ryu (2011), Karrie Webb (2000, 2001) and Michelle Wie (2014).
The USGA accepted entries for the 71st U.S. Women’s Open from golfers in 48 U.S. states (all except Alaska and Wyoming) and 52 countries in total. Of the U.S. entries, California had the most with 290, followed by Florida with 270 and Texas with 160. Of the other countries, Japan led the way with 184 entries, followed by Korea with 136 and Canada with 103.
Xiaowen Ying, 11, of the People's Republic of China is the championship's youngest entrant. Ying, who turns 12 on Dec. 8, will attempt to qualify at the sectional site in Shanghai, China, on May 26.
Jerilyn Britz, the 1979 U.S. Women's Open winner, is the championship's oldest entrant at 73. Britz’s last championship appearance came in 1991, when she missed the cut at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
Johanna Gustavsson, a professional from Sweden, was the first applicant when entries opened on March 9. The final championship application came from Maude-Aimee LeBlanc, a professional from Canada who filed her entry 19 minutes before the 5 p.m. Eastern deadline on May 4.
Players still have several ways to gain a full exemption into the U.S. Women’s Open. The winner of the 2016 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and any other LPGA co-sponsored events prior to the start of the U.S. Women’s Open, as well as the winner of the 2016 Ladies British Open Amateur Championship, will earn exemptions into the championship field. Additionally, the top 50 point leaders and ties from the Rolex Rankings as of July 4 will be added to the exempt list, provided they were not previously exempt into the championship.
A variety of U.S. Women’s Open ticket options are available for purchase at 2016uswomensopen.com.
The following 93 golfers are fully exempt into the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open (as of May 5):
Bold – U.S. Women’s Open champion
a – amateur
Sun Ju Ahn