The United States Golf Association (USGA) recently announced that 16 past U.S. Women’s Open champions are among the 61 players who are fully exempt into the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open, scheduled for July 12-15, 2018 at Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Ill.
“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 U.S. Senior Women’s Open is open to professional golfers, and amateurs with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 7.4 who are 50 years of age at the start of championship play.
Sectional qualifying was played over 18 holes at 17 sites across the United States between June 4-20. There were 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.
Three-time U.S. Women’s Open winner Hollis Stacy and 15 other champions – four of them two-time winners – are fully exempt from having to qualify for the championship. They are Amy Alcott (1980), Pat Bradley (1981), 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), Hollis Stacy (1977, 1978, 1984), 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).
The inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship will be the 12th USGA championship conducted at Chicago Golf Club 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. The club also hosted the U.S. Open in 1897 and 1900. Chicago Golf Club has also hosted four U.S. Amateur Championships, one U.S. Women’s Amateur and one U.S. Senior Amateur. It also hosted the Walker Cup Match in 1928 and 2005, both of which were won by the USA Team.
Online entries were accepted for the championship, beginning on March 7. Susan West of Tuscaloosa, Ala., whose application was received at 9:04 a.m. on March 7 and who will play in the sectional qualifier at Bent Creek Golf Club in Eden Prairie, Minn., was the first overall entrant. 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. “It’ll bring back some great memories to go back to the Chicago area and compete for an Open title.”
Lynn Thompson, 60, of Cincinnati, Ohio, submitted her entry less than three minutes before the deadline of 5 p.m. EDT on May 23 and was the championship’s last entrant.
More information about the U.S. Senior Women’s Open before, during and after the 2018 championship at Chicago Golf Club can be found at usseniorwomensopen.com.
The list of the 61 golfers who are fully exempt into the 2018 U.S. Senior Women’s Open:
JoAnne Gunderson Carner
Mary Jane Hiestand
Murle Lindstrom Breer
About the USGA
The USGA celebrates, serves and advances the game of golf. Founded in 1894, we conduct many of golf’s premier professional and amateur championships, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open. With The R&A, we govern the sport via a global set of playing, equipment and amateur status rules. Our operating jurisdiction for these governance functions is the United States, its territories and Mexico. The USGA Handicap System is utilized in more than 40 countries and our Course Rating System covers 95 percent of the world’s golf courses, enabling all golfers to play on an equitable basis. The USGA campus in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, is home to the Association’s Research and Test Center, where science and innovation are fueling a healthy and sustainable game for the future. The campus is also home to the USGA Golf Museum, where we honor the game by curating the world’s most comprehensive archive of golf artifacts. To learn more, visit usga.org.