Record 2,107 Entries Accepted for 78th U.S. Women's Open
The USGA has accepted a record total of 2,107 entries, including 13 champions and all top 25 players in the world, for the 78th U.S. Women’s Open Championship. The U.S. Women’s Open will be held for the first time at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links, from July 6-9, 2023.
Entries surpassed the 2,000 mark for the first time; the previous record of 1,874 was established last year at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club, in Southern Pines, N.C. A total of 1,873 entries were filed for the 2015 championship at Lancaster (Pa.) Country Club. The USGA accepted entries for the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open from golfers in 47 U.S. states and 62 foreign countries.
“The record number of entries is truly exciting and represents the worldwide interest in competing in the U.S. Women’s Open,” said USGA Chief Championships Officer John Bodenhamer. “Pebble Beach Golf Links is one of America’s iconic and treasured courses and will present a compelling championship venue that will bring out the best in the world’s greatest female players.”
Minjee Lee, of Australia, won last year’s U.S. Women’s Open with a championship record 72-hole total of 13-under-par 271 at Pine Needles and is one of 11 champions who are fully exempt from having to qualify. Joining Lee are Annika Sorenstam (1995, 1996, 2006), Eun-Hee Ji (2009), Michelle Wie West (2014), In Gee Chun (2015), Brittany Lang (2016), Sung Hyun Park (2017), Ariya Jutanugarn (2018), Jeongeun Lee6 (2019), A Lim Kim (2020) and Yuka Saso (2021).
World No. 1 Nelly Korda, of Bradenton, Fla., is among 87 exempt players currently in the field. Korda will compete in her ninth U.S. Women’s Open, with her best result an eighth-place finish in 2022.
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 Canada, Japan and Belgium, will take place between May 9-June 7.
Cristie Kerr, the 2007 champion, and 2010 champion Paula Creamer will attempt to qualify for the championship. Kerr, 45, and Creamer, 36, are scheduled to compete at Echo Lake Country Club, in Westfield, N.J., on May 15.
The championship’s youngest entrant is 9-year-old Bella Simoes, an amateur from Brazil. Kimberly Williams, a 60-year-old professional from Bethesda, Md., is the oldest. Heather MacRae, a 39-year-old professional from Scotland, was the first entrant on Feb. 15. Michelle Latini, a 29-year-old professional from Lincoln, Calif., submitted her entry 6 minutes, 29 seconds before the deadline of 5 p.m. EDT on May 3.
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 will earn an exemption. Additionally, any player who is among the top 75 points leaders and ties from the Rolex World Rankings as of July 3, who is not otherwise exempt, will be added to the championship field. The winner of the 2023 NCAA Women’s Division I Championship will also earn an exemption.
Pebble Beach Golf Links has previously hosted six U.S. Opens (1972, 1982, 1992, 2000, 2010, 2019), five U.S. Amateurs (1929, 1947, 1961, 1999, 2018) and two U.S. Women’s Amateurs (1940, 1948).