Betsy King And Dottie Pepper Accept Special Exemptions To U.S. Women's Open
May 7, 2004
Far Hills, N.J. - Two-time U.S. Women's Open champion Betsy King and Dottie Pepper have each accepted special exemptions from qualifying for the 2004 Championship, which will be played from July 1-4 at the Orchards Golf Club, located on the campus of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass.
The exemptions were offered by the Women's Committee of the United States Golf Association, which conducts the championship. The Committee reserves the right to offer additional special exemptions until the beginning of sectional qualifying on June 14.
It is the second consecutive special exemption from sectional qualifying for King, who won the Women's Open in 1989 and 1990. Counting 2003, she has played in 28 consecutive Women's Opens, with six top-5 finishes. She finished third in 1995 and was second after two rounds of the 2000 Women's Open before faltering. She was the low amateur at her first Women's Open, in 1976.
She has 34 professional tournament victories, including six majors. She became the first LPGA player ever to record four rounds in the 60s in a major championship when she shot 68-66-67-66 in winning the 1992 Mazda LPGA Championship. Her other major victories were the 1987, 1990 and 1997 Nabisco Championships.
A three-time Rolex Player of the Year Award winner (1984, 1989 and 1993), King also won the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average in 1987 and 1993. She also received the 1996 William and Mousie Powell Award, given annually for exemplifying the spirit of the LPGA.
King was named the Golf Writers Association of America Female Player of the Year in 1989. She has played on five USA Solheim Cup teams (1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, and 1998).
Pepper, owner of 17 professional victories, will be playing in her 21 st consecutive Women's Open. She has three third-place finishes, most recently in 2001, and was the low amateur in 1984.
She has two LPGA major victories - the 1992 and 1999 Nabisco Dinah Shore Championships. After earning four LPGA Tour wins in 1992, she was honored with the the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy and the Golf Writers Association of America Female Player of the Year Award. She has represented the USA in six Solheim Cups - 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, and 2000 - and qualified for the team in 2002 but was unable to play due to a shoulder injury.