Blumenherst Turns Down Exemption
To Kraft Nabisco Championship

Reigning U.S. Women's Amateur champ wants to save LPGA Tour exemptions until she turns pro after college season ends


February 5, 2009

By David Shefter, USGA

Far Hills, N.J. - Not wanting to use up any valuable LPGA Tour sponsor's exemptions prior to turning pro after the college season, reigning U.S. Women's  Amateur champion Amanda Blumenherst of Scottsdale, Ariz., has decided to turn down an invitation to play in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

The move by the three-time college player of the year is not unprecedented. Last year, Stacy Lewis rejected the offer knowing she was turning pro after the Curtis Cup Match in Scotland. Lewis then nearly won the U.S. Women's Open at Interlachen Country Club in her first start as a professional. While Lewis did not make enough money to finish among the top 80 to receive full-exempt LPGA Tour status for 2009 (the Women's Open money did not count), she did go through Qualifying School and won the final event to secure playing privileges for 2009.

Blumenherst , a two-time USA Curtis Cupper, was the low amateur at last year's Kraft Nabisco, finishing 30th. A few months later, she made the cut at the Women's Open and then triumphed in the Women's Amateur by beating reigning NCAA Division I champion Azahara Munoz, 2 and 1, in the 36-hole final at Eugene (Ore.) Country Club in early August. It was Blumenherst's first individual national championship after helping Duke University to a pair of team NCAA titles in 2006 and '07. She was the 2007 Women's Amateur runner-up.

If Blumenherst were to play the Kraft, scheduled for April 2-5 at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., it would count toward the six sponsor's exemptions that a non-LPGA Tour member can receive in any given year. The Women's Open and British Women's Open don't count because they are not conducted by the LPGA Tour. Blumenherst hopes to make enough money through sponsor's exemptions in summer and fall starts on the LPGA Tour to avoid going to Q-School.

The Kraft Nabisco Championship always extends an exemption to the reigning U.S. Women's Amateur champion, provided she still is an amateur. Amateur exemptions also have been given to two-time U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links champion Tiffany Joh (2006 and '08), 2008 U.S. Girls' Junior champion Alexis Thompson, Munoz and Candace Schepperle, who recently won two women's events in Florida.

It's unknown if the Kraft will add another amateur to its field to replace Blumenherst.

DavidShefteris a staff writer for the USGA's Digital Media Department. E-mail him with questions or comments at dshefter@usga.org.

 

  





Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image