U.S. Women’s Open Qualifying Entries Include 11 Year-Old Canadian

Léonie Tavares and Henry Dao were crowned in the bantam category at the 2021 Golf Quebec Graham Cooke Junior Invitational (Photo: Golf Quebec)

The United States Golf Association (USGA) has accepted a record total of 1,874 entries, including 12 champions and 24 of the top 25 players in the world, for the 77th U.S. Women’s Open Championship Presented by ProMedica. The U.S. Women’s Open will be held for the fourth time at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club, in Southern Pines, N.C., on June 2-5, 2022.

The previous record was established in 2015 when 1,873 filed entries for the championship at Lancaster (Pa.) Country Club. More than 1,500 U.S. Women’s Open entries were accepted for the eighth consecutive time. The USGA accepted entries for the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open from golfers in 46 U.S. states and 57 foreign countries. 

“The large number of entries confirms the growing worldwide interest in competing in the U.S. Women’s Open and is a testament to ProMedica and the USGA for their combined work elevating all aspects of the championship,” said John Bodenhamer, chief championships officer for the USGA. “We look forward to getting qualifying underway and to hosting the final field of 156 players at Pine Needles in June.”

Yuka Saso, of the Philippines, won last year’s U.S. Women’s Open at The Olympic Club and is one of 12 champions who are fully exempt from having to qualify. Joining Saso are Annika Sorenstam (1995, 1996, 2006), Inbee Park (2008, 2013), So Yeon Ryu (2011), Na Yeon Choi (2012), Michelle Wie West (2014), In Gee Chun (2015), Brittany Lang (2016), Sung Hyun Park (2017), Ariya Jutanugarn (2018), Jeongeun Lee6 (2019) and A Lim Kim (2020).

World No. 1 Jin Young Ko, of the Republic of Korea, is among 82 exempt players currently in the field. Ko will compete in her sixth U.S. Women’s Open, with her best finish a tie for second in 2020 at Champions Golf Club, in Houston, Texas.

Also exempt is Brook Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ontario. She tied for 7th at the championship in 2021. Now 24, she was low amateur at the age of 17, finishing in a share of 10th place at Pinehurst #2. In total there are 52 players that have entered and identified their home country as Canada.

To be eligible, a player must have a Handicap Index® not exceeding 2.4, or be a professional. Qualifying, which will be played over 36 holes at 23 sites in the U.S. and one each in England, Japan and the Republic of Korea, will take place between April 19-May 16.

Two champions, Cristie Kerr (2007) and Eun Hee Ji (2009), will attempt to qualify for the 77th U.S. Women’s Open. Kerr, 44, is scheduled to compete in Morristown, N.J., on May 10, while Ji, 35, is in the Fort Myers, Fla., qualifier on May 4.

The championship’s youngest entrant is 11-year-old Leonie Tavares, an amateur from Canada. Leonia is from Mirabel, Quebec and plays out of the Glendale G&CC. Denise Callahan, a 61-year-old amateur from Canton, Ohio, is the oldest. Lauren Horsford, a 25-year-old professional from England, was the first entrant on Feb. 16. Vanessa Wang, a 21-year-old amateur from Rowland Heights, Calif., submitted her entry 7 minutes before the deadline of 5 p.m. EDT on April 6.

The number of fully exempt players is expected to increase with the inclusion of additional categories. The winner of any LPGA co-sponsored event prior to the start of the U.S. Women’s Open, including this coming week’s Lotte Championship in Oahu, Hawaii, will earn an exemption. Additionally, any player who is among the top 75 points leaders and ties from the Rolex Rankings as of May 16, who is not otherwise exempt, will be added to the championship field.

The U.S. Women’s Open has been contested at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club three previous times. Sorenstam won her second consecutive championship in 1996, when she became the sixth player to win back-to-back titles. Karrie Webb successfully defended her U.S. Women’s Open crown in 2001 as she posted an eight-stroke triumph, the largest margin of victory in more than two decades. Kerr won her first major championship in 2007 with a two-stroke victory over the world’s top player, Lorena Ochoa, and 18-year-old Angela Park. 

More information about the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles, including the qualifying schedule, is available at uswomensopen.com.

The list of the 82 golfers who are fully exempt into the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open (as of April 6):

Marina Alex A Lim Kim Anna Nordqvist
Brittany Altomare Hyo Joo Kim Amy Olson
Na Ria An In-Kyung Kim Ryann O’Toole
Pajaree Anannarukarn Sei Young Kim Hyun Kung Park
Pia Babnik Jin Young Ko Inbee Park
Celine Boutier Lydia Ko Sung Hyun Park
a-Blakesly Brock Sakura Koiwai Sophia Popov
a-Jensen Castle Jessica Korda Melissa Reid
Matilda Castren Nelly Korda Hae Ran Ryu
Hye-Jin Choi Jennifer Kupcho So Yeon Ryu
Na Yeon Choi Brittany Lang Madelene Sagstrom
In Gee Chun Alison Lee Mao Saigo
Carlota Ciganda Da Yeon Lee Lizette Salas
a-Anna Davis Minjee Lee Yuka Saso
a-Louise Duncan Mirim Lee Hinako Shibuno
Austin Ernst So Mi Lee Annika Sorenstam
Ally Ewing Jeongeun Lee6 Angela Stanford
Ayaka Furue Stacy Lewis Ai Suzuki
Hannah Green Hee Jeong Lim Patty Tavatanakit
Georgia Hall Xiyu Liu Atthaya Thitikul
Mina Harigae Pernilla Lindberg Lexi Thompson
Nasa Hataoka Wenbo Liu Momoko Ueda
Brooke M. Henderson Gaby Lopez Michelle Wie West
Charley Hull Nanna Koertz Madsen Amy Yang
Ariya Jutanugarn Leona Maguire Angel Yin
Moriya Jutanugarn Caroline Masson a-Rose Zhang
Danielle Kang Yuna Nishimura  
Megan Khang Yealimi Noh  
BOLD – U.S. Women’s Open champion  

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