USGA Announces Exemption Categories for 2020 U.S. Women's Open
LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. (July 1, 2020) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced the exemption categories for the 75th U.S. Women’s Open Championship, which will be contested Dec. 10-13 at Champions Golf Club, in Houston, Texas. As previously announced, the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open field will be comprised entirely of exempt players due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Full exemption categories can be found at uswomensopen.com.
“We are extremely pleased to still provide the world’s best professional and amateur players the opportunity to compete for this historic championship, despite forgoing qualifying,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director, Championships. “After carefully examining previous years, these exemption categories allow us to closely mirror a traditional field, and we are excited to witness one of these players win what will truly be a milestone 75th U.S. Women’s Open.”
In addition to the customary U.S. Women’s Open exemptions, the 2020 field of 156 players will include the top 75 point leaders and ties from the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, as of March 16. Players who finished in the top 30 of the LPGA Tour’s 2019 Race to the CME Globe Final Points Cup list will also be exempt.
To ensure that those in the best form leading into the championship receive a place in the field, players who are not already exempt can earn a spot from their position on LPGA Tour’s 2020 official money list (top 10) or the Symetra Tour’s official money list (top 5) through Nov. 11. Exemptions will also be available based on performances in the following events on the 2020 LPGA Tour schedule: Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, Cambria Portland Classic, ShopRite Classic and KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
An average of 25 amateurs have competed in the last three U.S. Women’s Opens, including Gina Kim, who tied for 12th last year at the Country Club of Charleston (S.C.). The World Amateur Golf Ranking® will be utilized to fill the amateur contingent at Champions Golf Club, as the top 20 point leaders who are not otherwise exempt as of Nov. 4 will be added to the six amateur categories already employed. Amateurs have historically enjoyed tremendous success at the U.S. Women’s Open, including 1967 champion Catherine Lacoste, Jenny Chuasiriporn, who finished runner-up in 1998, and Brittany Lang and Morgan Pressel, who shared runner-up honors in the memorable 2005 U.S. Women’s Open at Cherry Hills won by Birdie Kim.
In lieu of international qualifying, the final rankings on the 2019 Ladies European Tour Order of Merit and the final money lists on the 2019 Japan LPGA Tour, Korean LPGA Tour and China LPGA Tour will help to round out the field. Remaining spots in the championship will be filled using the Rolex Rankings as of Nov. 9. More information on exemption categories and the entry application process can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
Eleven U.S. Women's Open champions currently meet exemption categories, including two-time winner Inbee Park (2008, 2013) and Jeongeun Lee6, who claimed the title last year at the Country Club of Charleston. Joining Park and Lee6 are: Eun-Hee Ji (2009), Paula Creamer (2010), So Yeon Ryu (2011), Na Yeon Choi (2012), Michelle Wie (2014), In Gee Chun (2015), Brittany Lang (2016), Sung Hyun Park (2017) and Ariya Jutanugarn (2018).
Exempt players must file an entry. Entries will open Wednesday, Oct. 7 and close Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 5 p.m. EDT.