There will be Canadian content in the field of the U.S. Senior Women’s Open each year, newly announced exemptions guarantee that. This week the United States Golf Association revealed a slate of Sectional Qualifying exemption categories, one of which will make certain that there is always a Canadian in the field, if they choose to enter.
There is the possibility of at least two Canadians playing in the inaugural championship. It is scheduled for July 12-15, 2018 at the Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Illinois. The field will be made up of those players who advance from Sectional Qualifying and those who are exempt from it.
Among those that will be exempt in 2018 will be Lorie Kane. The 4-time LPGA TOUR winner from Prince Edward Island will have no need to qualify based on recent success on The Legends Tour, the senior circuit affiliated with the LPGA TOUR. She won twice on that tour in 2016. Just one victory would have exempted her in the U.S. Senior Women’s Open. It is but one of the standards that will allow a player to bypass Sectional Qualifying.
Also exempt into the event will be the winner of the Canadian Senior Women’s Amateur Championship each year. That will start with the 2017 Champion.
A full list of exemption categories – which includes any player in her first 10 years of age eligibility who has won a U.S. Women’s Open Championship – is available on usga.org.
The U.S. Senior Women’s Open is open to professional females, and amateur females with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 7.4, who have reached their 50th birthday as of the first day of the championship. The field will include 120 players, who will earn entry into the championship through an exemption category or via sectional qualifying at sites nationwide. Exempt players who wish to compete in the championship must file an entry. Qualifying sites will be announced in the spring of 2018.
The U.S. Senior Women’s Open format will mirror that of the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open championships: a walking-only, 72-hole stroke-play competition over four consecutive days. There will be a 36-hole cut to the top 50 players, including ties, and prize money will be announced at a later date.