Womens US Open Notebook

Official USGA Release

(Look  for our Official Preivew This week)

This is the 73rd U.S. Women’s Open Championship and the first in the state of Alabama.


The first U.S. Women’s Open, played at Spokane (Wash.) Country Club in 1946 and won by Patty Berg, was the only one conducted at match play. The Women’s Professional Golfers Association (WPGA) conducted the Women’s Open until 1949, when the newly formed Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) took over operation of the championship. The LPGA ran the Women’s Open for four years, but in 1953 asked the United States Golf Association (USGA) to conduct the championship, which it has done ever since.


The youngest winner of the U.S. Women’s Open is Inbee Park, who won the 2008 championship at age 19 years, 11 months and 17 days. Babe Didrikson Zaharias, who won the 1954 Women’s Open at age 43 years and 7 days, is the oldest winner.


In 1967, Catherine Lacoste, of France, the daughter of hall-of-fame tennis player Rene Lacoste and 1927 British Ladies Amateur champion Simone Thion de la Chaume, became the only amateur to win the U.S. Women’s Open. Seven other amateurs, most recently Hye-Jin Choi in 2017, have had runner-up or co-runner-up finishes.



Among the 156 golfers in the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open, there are:


U.S. Women’s Open champions (10)

In Gee Chun (2015), Paula Creamer (2010), Eun-Hee Ji (2009), Cristie Kerr (2007), Brittany Lang (2016), Inbee Park (2008, 2013), Sung Hyun Park (2017), So Yeon Ryu (2011), Karrie Webb (2000, 2001), Michelle Wie (2014)


U.S. Women’s Open runners-up (12)

Hye-Jin Choi (2017), Cristie Kerr (2000), Candie Kung (2009), In-Kyung Kim (2013), Brittany Lang (2005), Stacy Lewis (2014), Anna Nordqvist (2016), Suzann Pettersen (2010), Morgan Pressel (2005), Hee Kyung Seo (2011), Angela Stanford (2003), Amy Yang (2012, 2015)


U.S. Women’s Amateur champions (9)

Kristen Gillman (2014), Danielle Kang (2010, 2011), Lydia Ko (2012), Jane Park (2004), Morgan Pressel (2005), Sophia Schubert (2017), Jennifer Song (2009), Emma Talley (2013), Mariajo Uribe (2007)


U.S. Women’s Amateur runners-up (6)

Brooke Henderson (2014), Moriya Jutanugarn (2011), Jessica Korda (2010), Azahara Munoz (2008), Jane Park (2003), Albane Valenzuela (2017)


U.S. Girls’ Junior champions (8)

Ariya Jutanugarn (2011), In-Kyung Kim (2005), Minjee Lee (2012), Inbee Park (2002), Eun Jeong Seong (2015, 2016), Erica Shepherd (2017), Jenny Shin (2006), Lexi Thompson (2008)


U.S. Girls’ Junior runners-up (5)

Katelyn Dambaugh (2010), Candie Kung (1997), Andrea Lee (2016), Inbee Park (2003, 2005), Jane Park (2004), Angel Yin (2015)


U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball champions (1)

Hailee Cooper (2013)


U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links champions (4)

Candie Kung (2001), Jennifer Song (2009), Michelle Wie (2003)


U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links runners-up (2)

Jennifer Song (2008), Michelle Wie (2004)


USA Curtis Cup Team members (20)

Cydney Clanton (2010), Paula Creamer (2004), Lindy Duncan (2012), Austin Ernst (2012), Kristen Gillman (2018), Cristie Kerr (1996), Jessica Korda (2010), Brittany Lang (2004), Lucy Li (2018), Andrea Lee (2018), Stacy Lewis (2008), Ally McDonald (2014), Jane Park (2004, 2006), Sophia Schubert (2018), Jennifer Song (2010), Angela Stanford (2010), Jenny Suh (2006), Emma Talley (2014), Lexi Thompson (2010), Michelle Wie (2004)


GB&I Curtis Cup Team members (7)

Georgia Hall (2014), Charley Hull (2012), Catriona Matthew (1990, 1992, 1994), Becky Morgan (1998, 2000), Olivia Mehaffey (2018), Mel Reid (2006), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (2008)


NCAA Division I champions (4)

Austin Ernst (2011, Louisiana State University), Stacy Lewis (2007, University of Arkansas), Azahara Munoz (2008, Arizona State University), Emma Talley (2015, University of Alabama)


Olympic Medalists (3)

Shanshan Feng (2016, bronze, People’s Republic of China), Lydia Ko (2016, silver, New Zealand), Inbee Park (2016, gold, Republic of Korea)


Players with Most U.S. Women’s Open Appearances (2018 included)

Cristie Kerr (23), Karrie Webb (23), Catriona Matthew (22), Angela Stanford (19), Candie Kung (17), Paula Creamer (16), Suzann Pettersen (16), Brittany Lincicome (15), Michelle Wie (15), Karine Icher (14), Brittany Lang (14), Jane Park (14), Shanshan Feng (12), Stacy Lewis (12), Becky Morgan (12), Inbee Park (12), Lexi Thompson (12), Amy Yang (12), Sandra Gal (11), Jessica Korda (11), Jennifer Song (11)


Active Consecutive U.S. Women’s Open Appearances (2018 included)

Karrie Webb (23, 1996-2018), Cristie Kerr (21, 1998-2018), Angela Stanford (19, 2000-18), Paula Creamer (16, 2003-18), Candie Kung (16, 2003-18), Suzann Pettersen (16, 2003-18), Brittany Lincicome (15, 2004-18), Brittany Lang (14, 2005-18), Shanshan Feng (12, 2007-18), Stacy Lewis (12, 2007-18), Lexi Thompson (12, 2007-18), Amy Yang (12, 2007-18), Jessica Korda (11, 2008-18)


First-Time U.S. Women’s Open Competitors (17)
Evelyn Arguelles (a), Celia Barquin Arozamena (a), Kaylee Benton (a), Olivia Cason (a), Hailee Cooper (a), Kelsey Chugg (a), Allisen Corpuz (a), Celeste Dao (a), Maria Fassi (a), Linn Grant (a), Sophie Hausmann (a), Olivia Mehaffey (a), Gina Kim (a), Emilia Migliaccio (a), Sophia Schubert (a), Yujeong Son (a), Gaeun Song (a), Elizabeth Wang (a), Lei Ye (a).


Countries Represented (27)

Australia, Austria, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Ecuador, France, Germany, Hong Kong China, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Paraguay, People’s Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United States of America, Wales


States Represented (20)

Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin



The 156-player field includes 91 fully exempt golfers and 10 U.S. Women’s Open champions. Sectional qualifying, conducted over 36 holes, was held at 25 sites between May 2 and May 17 at four international sites (England, Japan, People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Korea) and 21 U.S. sites.


Amateur Players in the Field (29)

Evelyn Arguelles, Celia Barquin Arozamena, Kaylee Benton, Olivia Cason, Jennifer Chang, Robyn Choi, Kelsey Chugg, Hailee Cooper, Allisen Corpuz, Celeste Dao, Maria Fassi, Kristen Gillman, Linn Grant, Sophie Hausmann, Dylan Kim, Gina Kim, Lucy Li, Andrea Lee, Olivia Mehaffey, Emilia Migliaccio, Sophia Schubert, Erica Shepherd, Yujeong Son, Gaeun Song, Patty Tavatanakit, Albane Valenzuela, Elizabeth Wang, Dana Williams, Lei Ye

Top-Ranked Amateur Players in the Field

Eleven amateurs are in the top-50 of the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking™ as of May 27:

No. 4 – Albane Valenzuela

No. 5 – Andrea Lee

No. 8 – Paphangkorn Tavatanakit

No. 10 – Kristen Gillman

No. 12 – Lucy Li

No. 14 – Maria Fassi

No. 19 – Sophia Schubert

No. 29 – Emilia Migliaccio

No. 38 – Yujeong Son

No. 44 – Dylan Kim

No. 46 – Jennifer Chang

No. 50 – Gina Kim


Notable Amateur Storylines


Andrea Lee, 19, is currently ranked No 5 on the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking™. She was a member of the 2016 Curtis Cup Team that lost to GB&I, 11.5-8.5. A sophomore at Stanford University, she garnered several honors following her freshman year, including Pac-12 freshman of the year, Pac-12 first team and Ping/Women’s Golf Coaches Association freshman of the year. Picking up where she left off, her sophomore season began with three individual victories in her first five starts. Lee was the runner-up in the 2016 U.S. Girls’ Junior, and a semifinalist in the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur. She has also won two SCGA Women’s Amateur titles and will be one of two returning members of the USA Curtis Cup Team in the 40th Curtis Cup Match next week.


Lucy Li, 15, the youngest player in the field, is competing in her second U.S. Women’s Open. In 2014, she was the youngest qualifier in championship history and missed the cut by seven strokes at Pinehurst No. 2. Earlier in 2014, Li won the Drive, Chip, & Putt Championship for her age division. In 2016, Li won the Junior PGA Championship and played on the victorious USA Junior Ryder Cup. Li’s most recent wins include the 2017 PING Invitational and the 2017 Rolex Tournament of Champions. She is a member of the 2018 Curtis Cup USA Team and will participate in the Match in June at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y.


Albane Valenzuela, 20, is currently fourth in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking™, the highest in the field. Valenzuela was the runner-up in the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur to fellow 2018 U.S. Women’s Open competitor Sophia Schubert. In 2015, Valenzuela earned victories in the Spanish International Stroke Play, the Doral Publix Junior Classic, and the Junior Orange Bowl Championship.


Sophia Schubert, 22, a senior who plays golf at the University of Texas, won the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur, defeating Albane Valenzuela, who was ranked No. 3 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking, in the final match. Schubert is exempt into the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open by virtue of that win, and this will be her first appearance in the championship. She was named an All-Big 12 Conference golfer in 2016 and 2017. Schubert helped the Longhorns claim the 2018 Big 12 Conference championship after tying for eighth as an individual. She captured three Tennessee state high school championships (2010, 2012, 2013) for Christian Academy of Knoxville. She is a member of the 2018 USA Curtis Cup Team and will participate in the Match this June at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y.


Kelsey Chugg, 27, won the 2017 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, posting a 3-and-1 victory over Mary Jane Hiestand in the final round at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas. At the time of winning the Women’s Mid-Amateur, she was No. 2,330 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and was competing in her fifth USGA championship and first Women’s Mid-Amateur. Chugg has won four Utah Women’s State Amateurs and is a four-time Utah Golf Association Player of the Year. She currently works as the membership director for the Utah State Golf Association.


Amateur Players in Recent U.S. Women’s Opens



2017    21                    5                      Hye-Jin Choi (2)

2016    26                    3                      Hye-Jin Choi (T38)

2015    23                    5                      Megan Khang (T35)

2014    36                    6                      Brooke Henderson (T10)

2013    19                    6                      Casie Cathrea (T25)

2012    28                    3                      Lydia Ko (T39)

2011    25                    5                      Moriya Jutanugarn (T32)

2010    29                    6                      Jennifer Johnson (T41)

2009    28                    7                      Jennifer Song (T13)

2008    26                    7                      Mariajo Uribe (T10)

2007    23                    4                      Jennie Lee and Jennifer Song (T39)

2006    29                    4                      Amanda Blumenherst and Jane Park (T10)

2005    18                    6                      Brittany Lang and Morgan Pressel (T2)

2004    16                    4                      Paula Creamer and Michelle Wie (T13)

2003    21                    8                      Aree Song (5)

2002    14                    2                      Angela Jerman and Aree Song (T51)

2001    19                    4                      Candy Hannemann (T30)

2000    16                    2                      Naree Song (T40)

1999    11                    2                      Grace Park (T8)

1998    15                    5                      Jenny Chuasiriporn (2, lost in playoff)

1997    9                      2                      Jenny Chuasiriporn (T56)

1996    15                    2                      Cristie Kerr (T36)

1995    14                    4                      Sarah LeBrun Ingram (T51)

1994    21                    3                      Carol Semple Thompson (T31)

1993    12                    2                      Debbi Miho Koyama (T26)

1992    17                    2                      Vicki Goetze (T48)

1991    16                    5                      Tracy Hanson (T21)


Youngest Competitor

At 15 years, 7 months and 30 days of age as of May 31 (the first day of the championship), Lucy Li, of Redwood Shores, Calif., is the championship’s youngest competitor.


Oldest Competitor

At age 48, Catriona Matthew, of Scotland, is the championship’s oldest competitor.


Field by Age

Age 15-19 – 19 players

Age 20-29 – 96 players

Age 30-39 – 32 players

Age 40-49 – 5 players


The average age of the championship field is 25.78.


Oldest U.S. Women’s Open Champions (years/months/days)

43/0/7              Babe Didrikson Zaharias, 1954

42/0/13            Juli Inkster, 2002

41/2/20            Meg Mallon, 2004


Youngest U.S. Women’s Open Champions (years/months/days)

19/11/17          Inbee Park, 2008

20/9/8              Se Ri Pak, 1998

20/11/2            In Gee Chun, 2015


Championship Birthdays

Two players in the U.S. Women’s Open field will celebrate a birthday during championship week: Casey Danielson, of Osceola, Wisc., (turning 23 on May 31) and Carlota Ciganda of Scottsdale, Ariz., (turning 28 on June 1).


Sisters in the Field

For the fourth consecutive year, and fifth time overall, sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn, of Thailand, are both in the field. Also in the field together for the third time are sisters Jessica and Nelly Korda. Nelly and Jessica were both exempt from qualifying by finishing inside the top 75 of the official LPGA Tour money list. The Jutanugarns and Kordas are two of seven sets of sisters to have competed in the same U.S. Women’s Open.


Danielle and Dina Ammaccapane (8) – 1991-93, 1996, 1998-99, 2001-02

Alice Bauer and Marlene Bauer Hagge (12) – 1947, 1949-55, 1957-58, 1964, 1966

Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn (5) – 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Jessica and Nelly Korda (3) – 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018

Aree and Naree Song (2) – 2003, 2005

Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam (8) – 1997, 1999-2005

Hollis Stacy and Martha Stacy Leach (1) – 1980


Alabama Connections

This year’s U.S. Women’s Open features two players with ties to the University of Alabama: 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Emma Talley and Alabama sophomore and 2018 USA Curtis Cup Tea, member Kristen Gillman, who won the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur, a year after Talley. Former Auburn University golfer, and 2010 USA Curtis Cup Team member, Cydney Clanton is also in the field.


The U.S. Women’s Open Course

Shoal Creek, located in Shoal Creek, Ala., right outside of Birmingham, was designed by Jack Nicklaus and opened for play in 1977. It is routed through more than 1,550 densely wooded acres with numerous water hazards and demanding green complexes. Approach shots call for careful strategy.


The 2018 U.S. Women’s Open will be the third USGA championship conducted at Shoal Creek. In 1986, Stewart “Buddy” Alexander won the U.S. Amateur Championship, defeating Chris Kite, 5 and 3 in the final. In 2008, Cameron Peck captured the U.S. Junior Amateur title, and his 10-and-8 victory over Evan Beck stands as the largest winning margin in Junior Amateur championship-match history.


Longest Course in Championship History

7,047 yards      The Broadmoor (East Course), Colorado Springs, Colo., 2011


Shortest Course in Championship History

6,010 yards      Brooklawn C.C., Fairfield, Conn., 1979


Longest Par-3 Holes in Championship History

252 yards         8th, Oakmont (Pa.) C.C., 2010

227 yards         8th, Interlachen C.C., Edina, Minn., 2008

211 yards         13th, Newport (R.I.) C.C., 2006

211 yards         5th, Pine Needles L. & G.C., Southern Pines, N.C., 2007


Longest Par-4 Holes in Championship History

459 yards         18th, Cherry Hills C.C., Cherry Hills Village, Colo., 2005

458 yards         16th, Pinehurst R. & C.C. (No. 2), Village of Pinehurst, N.C., 2014

455 yards         3rd, Blackwolf Run, Kohler, Wis., 2012


Longest Par-5 Holes in Championship History

603 yards         17th, The Broadmoor (East Course), Colorado Springs, Colo., 2011

602 yards         12th, Oakmont (Pa.) C.C., 2010

602 yards         16th, Blackwolf Run, Kohler, Wis., 2012

590 yards         5th, Blackwolf Run, Kohler, Wis., 2012


What the Winner Receives

In addition to prize money, the champion will receive a gold medal, custody of the Harton S. Semple Trophy for the ensuing year and an exemption from qualifying for the next 10 U.S. Women’s Open Championships.


The 2018 purse is $5 million. The 2017 purse was $5 million, and the winner earned $900,000.


The Last Time it Happened at a U.S. Women’s Open Championship

Sung Hyun Park: last international winner (2017)

Karrie Webb: last to defend title (2001)

In Gee Chun: last champion to win Women’s Open on first attempt (2015)

So Yeon Ryu: last winner to win Women’s Open on second attempt (2011)

Catherine Lacoste: last amateur to win Women’s Open (1967)

Annika Sorenstam: last start-to-finish winner (2006)

Inbee Park: last winner to win money title in same year (2013)

So Yeon Ryu: last winner to birdie the 72nd hole (2011)

So Yeon Ryu: last winner to birdie the 72nd hole to force playoff (2011)

Eun-Hee Ji: last winner to birdie the 72nd hole to win by one stroke (2009)

Inbee Park: last to win with four sub-par rounds (2008)

Eun-Hee Ji: last to win without a round in the 60s (2009)

Hilary Lunke: last player to win after competing in local qualifying (2003)

Birdie Kim: last player to win after competing in sectional qualifying (2005)

Inbee Park, 19: last winner younger than 20 (2008)

Sung Hyun Park, 20: last winner between ages 20-29 (2017)

Brittany Lang, 30: last winner between ages 30-39 (2016)

Meg Mallon, 41: last winner over age 40 (2004)

In Gee Chun: last defending champion to miss the cut (2016)


Title Defense

Should Sung Hyun Park win, she would become the eighth player to successfully defend her championship title. She would join Mickey Wright (1958-59), Donna Caponi (1969-70), Susie Maxwell Berning (1972-73), Hollis Stacy (1977-78), Betsy King (1989-90), Annika Sorenstam (1995-96) and Karrie Webb (2000-01).


Since 1991, only four players have finished in the top 10 the year following their victory.


Year    Champion                    Result in Defense

2016    Brittany Lang               T58

2015    In Gee Chun                 Missed cut

2014    Michelle Wie                11

2013    Inbee Park                   T43

2012    Na Yeon Choi               T17

2011    So Yeon Ryu                T14

2010    Paula Creamer            T15

2009    Eun-Hee Ji                   T39

2008    Inbee Park                   T26

2007    Cristie Kerr                  T13

2006    Annika Sorenstam       T32

2005    Birdie Kim                    Missed cut

2004    Meg Mallon                  T13

2003    Hilary Lunke                 64

2002    Juli Inkster                    8

2001    Karrie Webb                 Missed cut

2000    Karrie Webb                 Champion

1999    Juli Inkster                    T23

1998    Se Ri Pak                     T15

1997    Alison Nicholas             Missed cut

1996    Annika Sorenstam        Missed cut

1995    Annika Sorenstam        Champion

1994    Patty Sheehan             T10

1993    Lauri Merten                 T12

1992    Patty Sheehan              6

1991    Meg Mallon                   4


USGA Championships in Alabama

The 2018 U.S. Women’s Open is the seventh USGA championship in Alabama. Most recently, the Country Club of Birmingham hosted the 2016 USGA Men’s State Team Championship, won by Michigan.


Full Listing of USGA Championships in Alabama

1974 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur: Lakewood G.C., Point Clear (Justine B. Cushing)

1986: U.S. Amateur: Shoal Creek (Stewart “Buddy” Alexander)

1986 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur: Lakewood Golf Club, Point Clear (Constance Guthrie)

2008: U.S. Junior Amateur: Shoal Creek (Cameron Peck)

2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship: Country Club of Birmingham (Michael McCoy)

2016 USGA Men’s State Team Championship: Country Club of Birmingham (Michigan)


Future U.S. Women’s Open Host Sites

May 30 – June 2, 2019 – Country Club of Charleston (S.C.)

June 4-7, 2020 – Champions Golf Club, Houston, Texas

June 3-6, 2021 – The Olympic Club, San Francisco, Calif.

June 2-5, 2022 – Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club, Southern Pines, N.C.

June 1-4, 2023 – Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links

Author: Jhavelka