Henderson, Sharp in 156-player field at U.S. Women’s Open
LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. – The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced that the field for the 75th U.S. Women’s Open Championship is complete with the addition of 28 players who earned their way into the championship through the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. The final major championship of the 2020 golf season will be contested Dec. 10-13 at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas. The 156-player field for the championship is composed entirely of exempt players due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The historic 75th anniversary field boasts nine U.S. Women’s Open champions, while 42 players will be making their championship debuts in Houston. The field will also have seven Texas residents, including 2016 champion Brittany Lang, who grew up in McKinney.
The 28 players who gained entry via the Rolex Rankings are: Hae Ran Ryu, Sophia Popov, Ayaka Furue, Yuka Saso, Sakura Koiwai, Na Rin An, Song Yi Ahn, Erika Hara, Yuna Nishimura, Ji Hyun Kim, Anne van Dam, Alena Sharp, Lala Anai, Eri Okayama, Cristie Kerr, Pornanong Phatlum, Jun Min Lee, Ji Hun Oh, Emily Kirstine Pedersen, Mi Jeong Jeon, Maria Fernanda Torres, Bo Ah Kim, Teresa Lu, Wei-Ling Hsu, Ye Rim Choi, Asuka Kashiwabara, Sarah Schmelzel, and So Yi Kim.
Hae Ran Ryu won the Jeju Samdasoo Masters in 2019 to earn her LPGA of Korea Tour card and successfully defended her title in August. The 19-year-old also has two runner-up finishes among her six top-10s this year. She will be making her U.S. Women’s Open debut.
Popov will be making her second U.S. Women’s Open start. Since turning professional in 2014, Popov has mainly played on the Symetra Tour, but she earned three tournament wins on the Cactus Tour during the COVID-19 break before earning her first major victory at the AIG Women’s Open at Royal Troon in August.
Kerr is one of the nine U.S. Women’s Open champions set to compete in Houston. The seasoned veteran earned her first major title in the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles, finishing two strokes ahead of the runners-up. Kerr has 20 LPGA Tour wins, including a second major championship title at the Women’s PGA Championship in 2010. This is Kerr’s 22nd straight Women’s Open appearance, with seven top-10 finishes in addition to her victory.
The USGA announced on April 3 that the 75th U.S. Women’s Open, initially scheduled for June 4-7, would be moved to Dec. 10-13. To account for reduced daylight, the Jackrabbit Course at Champions Golf Club will be used in Rounds 1 and 2 along with the Cypress Creek Course, which was originally slated to host all four rounds of championship play. In June, the USGA announced that the championship would be conducted without traditional qualifying and on Oct. 21, the USGA announced that the championship would not have fans on-site due to health and safety concerns resulting from the ongoing pandemic.
Considered the world’s premier women’s golf championship, the U.S. Women’s Open is one of 14 national championships conducted annually by the USGA. The championship began in 1946 and its winners include Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Betsy Rawls, Mickey Wright, Hollis Stacy, Amy Alcott, Meg Mallon, Annika Sorenstam, Se Ri Pak, Juli Inkster, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer, Inbee Park and Michelle Wie.
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