U.S. SENIOR WOMEN'S OPEN
Inaugural Field Includes 16 U.S. Women’s Open Champions
May 24, 2018 | Liberty Corner, N.J.
By Joey Flyntz, USGA
When the USGA announced the establishment of the U.S. Senior Women’s Open in 2015, the impetus was to serve golfers of every demographic. From July 12-15 at Chicago Golf Club, many of the pioneers who helped transform women’s golf will once again have the opportunity to compete for a national championship.
The field for this year’s championship includes 61 exempt players, 16 of which have won the U.S. Women’s Open.
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, the 1981 U.S. Women’s Open champion. “It’ll bring back some great memories to go back to the Chicago area and compete for an Open title.”
Three-time U.S. Women’s Open winner Hollis Stacy (1977, 1978, 1984), Bradley, and 14 other champions – four of them two-time winners – are fully exempt from having to qualify for the championship. They are Amy Alcott (1980), 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), 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).
Sectional qualifying, which will determine the remaining spots in the 120-player field, 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.
“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 Inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship will be the 12th USGA championship conducted at Chicago Golf Club – one of the five founding clubs of the USGA – 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.
Joey Flyntz is an associate writer for the USGA. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.