May 16, 2016
Field for 2016 U.S. Women’s Open at CordeValle Nearly Set
With regional qualifying underway and continuing through the first week of June, the field for the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open at CordeValle will soon be set.
The USGA has received 93 exemptions for this summer’s premier women’s golf championship, slated for July 4-10. The list includes former champions, top names in the game and long-standing stars.
Here’s a quick look at who’s making the trip to Northern California:
Defending champion In Gee Chun (S. Korea) will face fierce competition from other former champions looking to add to their trophy cabinet, including Inbee Park (S. Korea; 2008 and 2013 champion), Cristie Kerr (US; 2007 champion) and Karrie Webb (Australia; 2000 and 2001 champion).
There’ll also be a strong local contingent of Bay Area players who grew up playing NCGA courses. 2010 U.S. Women’s Open champion Paula Creamer (Pleasanton), 2014 U.S. Women’s Open champion Michelle Wie (Stanford graduate) and fan favorite Christina Kim (San Jose) will all compete for local bragging rights as well as the ultimate trophy.
A special member on the exemption list is Korean legend Se Ri Pak, who announced earlier this year that she will retire at the end of 2016. Her 1998 championship at Blackwolf Run, clinched in a dramatic playoff, is seen by many as the seminal moment in encouraging young Korean ladies to pursue their dreams as professional golfers. Recent champions Chun, Park, Na Yeon Choi (2012) and So Yeon Ryu (2011), all of whom will play at CordeValle, have cited Pak’s influence and inspiration.
The U.S. Women’s Open is truly an international affair, with more than 100 countries tuning in to cheer on the action. The exemption list reflects a similarly global appeal, with players hailing from six continents.
Those traveling far to compete for the top prize include New Zealand’s Lydia Ko (ranked #1 worldwide), Australia’s Minjee Lee, Norway’s Suzann Pettersen, Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist, China’s Shanshan Feng, Japan’s Haru Nomura (this year’s Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic champion), England’s Charley Hull, Germany’s Sandra Gal, Canada’s Brooke Henderson, South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace, Paraguay’s Julieta Granada and Colombia’s Mariajo Uribe.