Posted: June 17, 2015 9:41 pm
The last of the 25 sectional qualifiers for the U.S. Women’s Open was completed Monday in Japan.
No, that doesn’t mean the entire field is set.
From the United States Golf Association’s Christina Lance:
“While qualifying is over, we will not have a full field until the week of the championship. Because we have exemption categories that remain open until July 5, we have to hold several TBD spots and will not have a full 156-player field until that date at the earliest.”
We can come close to figuring it out, though, a least in terms of those who are in and those “on the bubble.”
Start with the 96 exempt players:
1. Winners of the U.S. Women’s Open for the last ten years (2005–2014) –
Na Yeon Choi, Paula Creamer, Eun-Hee Ji, Cristie Kerr, Birdie Kim, Inbee Park, So Yeon Ry, Michelle Wie.
(Annika Sorenstam has this exemption but is not entered.)
2. Winner and runner-up from the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur (must be an amateur) –
(The runner-up, Brooke Mackenzie Henderson, turned professional in December 2014, thus forfeiting this exemption.)
3. Winners of the 2014 and 2015 British Ladies Amateur Golf Championship (must be an amateur) – Céline Boutier.
4. Winners of the Women’s PGA Championship for the last five years (2011–2015) –
Shanshan Feng, Yani Tseng.
5. Winners of the Ricoh Women’s British Open for the last five years (2010–2014) –
Stacy Lewis, Mo Martin, Jiyai Shin.
6. Winners of the ANA Inspiration for the last five years (2011–2015) –
Brittany Lincicome, Lexi Thompson, Sun-Young Yoo.
7. Winners of the Evian Championship (2013–2014) –
Kim Hyo-joo, Suzann Pettersen.
8. Ten lowest scorers and anyone tying for 10th place from the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open –
Brooke Mackenzie Henderson, Meena Lee, Catriona Matthew, Stephanie Meadow, Pornanong Phatlum, Jenny Shin, Amy Yang, Sakura Yokomine.
9. Top 75 money leaders from the 2014 final official LPGA money list –
Marina Alex, Dori Carter, Chella Choi, Carlota Ciganda, Laura Davies, Laura Diaz, Austin Ernst, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Sandra Gal, Julieta Granada, Mina Harigae, Caroline Hedwall, M. J. Hur, Karine Icher, Tiffany Joh, Jennifer Johnson, Moriya Jutanugarn, Danielle Kang, Haeji Kang, Kim Kaufman, Christina Kim, I.K. Kim, Katherine Kirk, Lydia Ko, Jessica Korda, Candie Kung, Brittany Lang, Ilhee Lee, Mi Hyang Lee, Mirim Lee, Amelia Lewis, Pernilla Lindberg, Caroline Masson, Sydnee Michaels, Belen Mozo, Azahara Muñoz, Haru Nomura, Anna Nordqvist, Ji Young Oh, Lee-Anne Pace, Se Ri Pak, Hee Young Park, Gerina Piller, Morgan Pressel, Beatriz Recari, Lizette Salas, Dewi Claire Schreefel, Sarah Jane Smith, Angela Stanford, Thidapa Suwannapura, Kris Tamulis, Ayako Uehara, Mariajo Uribe, Line Vedel, Karrie Webb.
11. Top 10 money leaders from the 2015 official LPGA money list, through the close of entries on May 6 –
12. Winners of LPGA co-sponsored events, whose victories are considered official, from the conclusion of the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open to the initiation of the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open –
Q Baek, Minjee Lee.
13. Top five money leaders from the 2014 Japan LPGA Tour, Korea LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour –
Japan LPGA Tour: Sun-Ju Ahn, Lee Bo-mee, Teresa Lu, Misuzu Narita;
Korea LPGA Tour: Heo Yoon-kyung, Lee Jung-min, Chun In-gee;
Ladies European Tour: Nikki Campbell, Charley Hull, Gwladys Nocera.
14. Top three money leaders from the 2014 China LPGA Tour.
Xiju Lin, Babe Liu, Yanhong Pan.
15. Top 50 point leaders from the Rolex World Rankings and anyone tying for 50th place as of May 6, 2015 –
Jang Ha-na, Ariya Jutanugarn, Kim Min-sun, Ko Jin-young.
Players (55) who earned spots in the field via sectional qualifying:
(a) denotes amateur
Mariel Galdiano (a), Yuting Shi, Jennifer Coleman, Beth Lillie (a), Daniela Darquea (a), Regina Plasencia (a), Brooke Pancake, Jane Park, Christina Foster (a), Elizabeth Nagel, Sarah Burnham (a), Lori Adams (a), Nikolette Schroeder (a), Alejandra Llaneza, Mika Miyazato, Jennifer Song, So-Young Lee (a), Min Gyeong Youn (a), Jimin Kang, Lindsey Weaver (a), Alison Lee, Lilia Khatu Vu (a), Wei-Ling Hsu, Ryann O’Toole, Holly Aitchison, Maria Balikeova, Heather Macrae, Lauren Taylor, Kylie Walker, Lee Lopez, Angella Then (a), Bertine Strauss (a), Maria Fassi (a), Lauren Doughtie, Su Oh, Haley Italia, Haruka Morita-WanyaoLu. Natalie Gulbis, Nontoya Srisawang, Stephanie Connelly, Megan Khang (a), Breanna Elliott, Emma Talley (a), Muni He (a), Hannah O’Sullivan (a), Christel Boeljon, Gaby Lopez (a), Dylan Kim (a), Jennifer Park (a), Lala Anai, Erika Kikuchi, Ayaka Matsumori, Ai Suzuki, Suzuka Yamaguchi (a), Rumi Yoshiba.
There are two other exemption criterion: the top 50 point leaders (not otherwise exempt) from the current Rolex Rankings as of July 5. There is only one player, Japanese tour player Shiho Oyama, who is in the top 50 now (38th) but wasn’t May 6 (57th). With only one LPGA event between now the Open, Oyama is likely in.
The USGA also occasionally gives special exemptions chosen by the USGA, usually to veteran players based on body of work. Lance said last month no special exemptions are planned this year.
So, assuming Oyama’s in, that’s 152 of a possible 156 spots spoken for. There may be some movement back and forth due to injuries and the like, but the remaining open spots will go to alternates from sectional qualifying at the discretion of the USGA, usually based on the strength of the field at a given qualifier.
To borrow from Don Ho, that’s a tiny bubble.
Assuming you’re not one of those alternates, here’s what you need to know: Everyone you want to see play in a U.S. Women’s Open, and everyone with a serious chance to win it, will be in Lancaster next month.