Robbins, Wie Accept 2006 U.S. Women's Open Special Exemptions
May 15, 2006
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Far Hills, N.J. - Kelly Robbins and Michelle Wie have each accepted special exemptions for the 2006 U.S. Women's Open Championship, to be played June 29-July 2 at Newport (R.I.) Country Club.
The exemptions were offered by the Women's Committee of the United States Golf Association, which conducts the championship. The Women's Committee reserves the right to offer additional special exemptions until the beginning of sectional qualifying on June 12.
Robbins, 36, tied for second at the 2003 Women's Open after an 18-hole Monday playoff. She finished third at the 2004 Women's Open and was exempt for the 2005 championship but had to withdraw due to a back injury, which caused her to miss most of the 2005 LPGA season. She also finished third at the 1997 Women's Open and had top-10 finishes in 1994 and 2000. Overall, Robbins has competed in 14 Women's Opens and has earned more money, $805,695, than anyone who has not won the championship.
She has nine career LPGA victories, including the 1995 McDonald's LPGA Championship, and has played on six USA Solheim Cup teams. During her amateur career, she was a two-time quarterfinalist at the U.S. Women's Amateur, in 1988 and 1990.
It is the second special exemption for the 16-year-old Wie, who also earned one into the 2004 Women's Open. At that championship, she shared low-amateur honors, finishing tied for 13 th with Paula Creamer. She finished 39 th at the 2003 Women's Open and tied for 23 rd at the 2005 championship.
Wie, the 2003 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links champion, has two third-place finishes in her first two LPGA tournaments in 2006. She finished third at the Fields Open and tied for third at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. In those two events, she has won $181,449, which would place her within the top 35 on the LPGA Tour money list if she were a full-time member of the Tour. In 2005, she made the cut in all four major events, with a second-place finish at the McDonald's LPGA Championship and a tie for third at the Weetabix Women's British Open. Were she a professional, she would have earned $697,144 to finish 12 th on the 2005 LPGA money list.
The U.S. Women's Open is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.