- U.S. Women's Open
U.S. Women's Open
The U.S. Women’s Open is an annual 72-hole stroke play competition for female golfers. The first three editions were organized by the Women’s Professional Golfers Association, with the inaugural contest in 1946 played as a match play contest for the one and only time. The LPGA then sanctioned the Open from 1949 to 1952 until the USGA took control and that governing body now runs the event.
The original trophy presented to Patty Berg, the winner of the first contest, was one donated by Spokane Athletic Round Table, the event sponsor at Spokane Country Club (now Kalispel Golf & Country Club) in Washington. The USGA introduced a new trophy when it assumed responsibility for the tournament in 1953 but this was retired to the USGA museum in 1992. Since then, the champion is presented with the Harton S. Semple Trophy, named after the USGA President in 1973-1974.
One of nine national competitions conducted by the USGA, the U.S. Women’s Open is considered as one of the five major championships in the LPGA Tour calendar. It’s open to any professional or amateur female golfer (with a specified handicap limit) and there’s no age limit – Lexi Thompson qualified to play when she was a 12-year-old girl in 2007 then Lucy Li gained entry as an 11-year-old in 2014. Winners of certain major amateur title are also exempt from qualifying.
In the first fifty years of operation, only six non-American women managed to win the Open. The first of these was Fay Crocker from Montevideo in Uruguay, who won by 4 shots in 1955 at Wichita Country Club in Kansa. Twelve years later, an even more remarkable winner appeared: 22-year-old Catherine Lacoste from France. Her 2-stroke win at The Homestead in Virginia remains to this day the only amateur victory in the event.
Since the start of the new millennium, most Opens have been won by international golfers, with eight South Korean women claiming nine titles. Betsy Rawls (1951-1960) and Micky Wright (1958-1964) have both won the tournament four times and four other golfers have each scored three victories: Babe Zaharias (1948-1954); Susie Berning (1968-1973); Hollis Stacy (1977-1984); and Annika Sorenstam (1995-2006).
Two courses have each hosted the U.S. Women’s Open three times. The first is Atlantic City Country Club in Northfield, New Jersey, which was the venue for Babe Zaharias winning the first of her three titles in 1948. The second is Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, North Carolina, where Annika Sorenstam won the second of her three U.S. Opens in 1996. Karrie Webb also retained the U.S. Open here in 2001, and Christie Kerr secured the first of her two majors on this layout in 2007.
Uniquely, the 75th U.S. Women’s Open was staged in December 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and there was no qualifying process with the entire field exempt. Shortened day length called Champions Golf Club’s second course (the Jackrabbit) into action for the tournament’s first two days to ensure the 156-strong field competed on time before Cypress Creek concluded proceedings after the cut.
Two courses no longer exist, so you will not find Prince George's (1949) and Churchill Valley (1959) listed among the entries below. A further five other courses have staged the U.S. Women’s Open: Bala (1952), Muskogee (1970), Richland (1980), Rolling Hills (1950) and Scenic Hills (1969). We may list some of these clubs in the future.
Johns Creek, Georgia
Northfield, New Jersey
Springfield, New Jersey
Springfield, New Jersey
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
U.S. Women's Open Top 100 Leaderboard
B-NL Challenge Trophy