2014 U.S. Women’s Open: Sectional qualifying done, few exemptions remain

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

FAR HILLS, N.J. – The United States Golf Association (USGA) announced on Wednesday that 75 players, including four USGA champions advanced through sectional qualifying and will compete in the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open to be played at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club’s Course No. 2 in Pinehurst, N.C. from June 19-22.

Triangle-area connections

Most recently in the Triangle area, professionals Stacey Keating (Australia), Marta Silva (Spain), Wei-Ling Hsu (Chinese Taipei), and amateur Ally McDonald (Fulton, Miss). all qualified back on May 29th, on the Lakes Course at Carolina Trace Country Club in Sanford, N.C.

Previous to that qualifier, Duke’s Celine Boutier who helped lead her team to it’s sixth overall NCAA title was the medalist at the May 14th sectional played at The Heritage at Westmoor in Westminster, Colo.

Fountain of youth

As this year’s field includes many amateurs, what’s more impressive is their youth in years.

Lucy Li, of Redwood Shores, Calif., the 11-year-old who earned medalist honors at the Half Moon Bay (Calif.) Golf Links, is the youngest competitor in the championship field.

She will surpass current LPGA Tour pro Lexi Thompson as the youngest qualifier in championship history.

Li, who turns 12 on Oct. 1, will be 11 years, 8 months and 19 days old when she begins play in the tournament on June 19.

Thompson was 12 years, 4 months and 18 days old when she competed in the 2007 Women’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C.

Although Li is the youngest player to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open, she will not be the youngest to compete in the championship.

Beverly Klass played in the 1967 U.S. Women’s Open at Virginia Hot Springs Golf & Tennis Club in Hot Springs, Va., at 10 years, 7 months and 21 days old.

Teens in the field

Sectional qualifying into the championship was introduced in 1976 and has benefited young players like Li.

Nineteen teenagers advanced through sectional qualifying in 2014, led by 18-year-old Minjee Lee, of Australia, who won the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship and is ranked No. 1 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Other teenagers to qualify are: Narangyi Bae, 14; Mathilda Cappeliez, 16; Yueer Cindy Feng, 18; Jordan Ferreira, 19; Samantha Gotcher, 19; Chisato Hashimoto, 16; Brooke Mackenzie Henderson, 16; Weiling Hsu, 19; Madison Kerley, 16; Megan Khang, 16; Andrea Lee, 15; Paige Lee, 19; Hannah Pietila, 18; Jessica Porvasnik, 18; Kathleen Scavo, 16; Yuting Shi, 16; Sierra Sims, 18; and Bailey Tardy, 17.

They join three who were already fully exempt into the championship: Moriya Jutanugarn, 19; Lydia Ko, 17; and Thompson, 19.

Four USGA champions advanced through sectional qualifying, in addition to Minjee Lee, as Laura Davies (1987 U.S. Women’s Open), Brianna Do (2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links) and Jennifer Song (2009 U.S. Women’s Amateur, 2009 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links) will all compete at Pinehurst.

At age 50, Davies is the oldest player to advance through sectional qualifying and the second-oldest player in the championship, three years younger than Juli Inkster.

Other notables to advance from qualifying include 2009 USA Solheim Cup Team member Kristy McPherson; U.S. Women’s Amateur runners-up Feng (2013) and Jaye Marie Green (2012); 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links runner-up Lisa McCloskey; and Cheyenne Woods, a two-time All- American at Wake Forest and the niece of nine-time USGA champion Tiger Woods.

Early withdrawls

Exempt player Sun-Ju Ahn withdrew from the championship and will be replaced by Sierra Sims (first alternate from The Woodlands, Texas, qualifier).

In addition, So-Young Lee, who advanced through the Korea qualifier, withdrew, and Hee Kyung Bae, that site’s first alternate, will replace her.

Four spots that had been reserved for possible exemptions have been released back to the qualifying field.

Alternates Stephanie Meadow (Beaumont, Calif., qualifier), Ashleigh Simon (Carrollton, Texas, qualifier), Sarah-Jane Smith (Manakin-Sabot, Va.,qualifier) and Kelly Tan (Dunwoody, Ga., qualifier) have been added to the Women’s Open field.

Exemptions still to be had

Seventy-nine players are exempt into the Championship’s 156-player field.

A player can still earn an exemption by winning the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, the final LPGA event before the U.S. Women’s Open, currently being played at Grey Silo Golf Course in Waterloo, Ontario.

Additionally, those who are among the top 25 of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings as of June 16 will earn an exemption into the field, provided they were not previously exempt.

2014 U.S. Women’s Open – Sectional Qualifiers

Key: (a) – amateur, A – alternate

Player – qualifying sites and score

May 5 – Honors Golf Club, Carrollton, Texas
Jaye Marie Green, Boca Raton, Fla. – 138
Maria Hernandez, Spain – 139
Belen Mozo, Spain – 140
Katie Burnett, Brunswick, Ga. – 141
Lisa McCloskey, Houston, Texas – 141
Ashleigh Simon, South Africa – 142
A – Hannah Jun, Jupiter, Fla. – 142

May 12 – Waialae Country Club, Honolulu, Hawaii
Xyra Suyetsugu, Honolulu, Hawaii – 145
A – (a) Mariel Galdiano, Pearl City, Hawaii – 146
A – (a) Cassy Isagawa, Wailuku, Hawaii – 146

May 12 – Butler (Pa.) Country Club
(a) Bailey Tardy, Norcross, Ga. – 145
(a) Jessica Porvasnik, Hinckley, Ohio – 146
Jennifer Song, Ann Arbor, Mich. – 148
A – Laura Diaz, Winston-Salem, N.C. – 149
A – Sydnee Michaels, El Cajon, Calif. – 149

May 14 – Oak Valley Golf Course, Beaumont, Calif.
(a) Marissa Chow, Honolulu, Hawaii – 147
Tzu-Chi Lin, Chinese Taipei – 150
(a) Stephanie Meadow, Northern Ireland – 152
A – (a) Grace Na, Oakland, Calif. – 153

May 14 – The Heritage at Westmoor, Westminster, Colo.
(a) Celine Boutier, France – 142
(a) Janie Jackson, Huntsville, Ala. – 144
A – (a) Jennifer Coleman, Rolling Hills Estate, Calif. – 145
A – (a) Gabriela Lopez, Mexico – 146

May 19 – Half Moon Bay (Calif.) Golf Links (Old Club)
(a) Lucy Li, Redwood Shores, Calif. – 142
(a) Kathleen Scavo, Benicia, Calif. – 149
(a) Paige Lee, Folsom, Calif. – 150
A – (a) Sara Banke, Danville, Calif. – 151
A – (a) Yoonhee Kim, San Ramon, Calif. – 151

May 19 – CGA Nanshan International Training Center (Garden Course), Shandong, China
So-Young Jang, Republic of Korea – 144
(a) Yuting Shi, People’s Republic of China – 147
A – Yuyang Zhang, People’s Republic of China – 147
A – Hye In Yeom, Republic of Korea – 149

May 19 – Buckinghamshire (England) Golf Course
Amy Boulden, Wales – 142
Kelsey MacDonald, Scotland – 143
Nicole Garcia, South Africa – 143
Stephanie Na, Australia – 144
Nikki Campbell, Australia – 144
Lucy Williams, England – 144
Rebecca Hudson, England – 144
Holly Clyburn, England – 144
A – Camilla Lennarth, Sweden – 145
A – Beth Allen, San Diego, Calif. – 145

May 19 – Dunwoody (Ga.) Country Club
Erica Popson, Davenport, Fla. – 147
Brooke Pancake, Chattanooga, Tenn. – 148
Jessica Wallace, Canada – 148
Kelly Tan, Malaysia – 149
A – Carmen Bandea, Johns Creek, Ga. – 149

May 19 – Indian Hill Club, Winnetka, Ill.
(a) Hannah Pietila, Brighton, Mich. – 146
(a) Elizabeth Tong, Canada – 148
A – (a) Lindsey McPherson, Flushing, Mich. – 149
A – Noriko Nakazaki, Lakemoor, Ill. – 149

May 19 – Higashi Nagoya Country Club, Aichi Prefecture, Japan
Misuzu Narita, Japan – 140
Ayaka Watanabe, Japan – 141
Lala Anai, Japan – 141
Eri Joma, Japan – 141
(a) Chisato Hashimoto, Japan – 141
A – (a) Mao Nozawa, Japan – 141
A – Yuki Ichinose, Japan – 141

May 19 – Woo Jeong Hills Country Club, Chungnam, Korea
(a) Narangyi Bae, Republic of Korea – 142
Hee Kyung Bae, Republic of Korea – 146
A – (a) Hye-sun Kim, Republic of Korea – 146

May 19 – North Oaks (Minn.) Country Club
(a) Minjee Lee, Australia – 140
A – Amy Anderson, Oxbow, N.D. – 149
A – (a) Maria Fassi, Mexico – 149

May 19 – Hermitage Country Club, Manakin-Sabot, Va.
(a) Brooke Mackenzie Henderson, Canada – 140
Kris Tamulis, Naples, Fla. – 141
Sue Kim, Canada – 142
Kristy McPherson, Tampa, Fla. – 144
Dori Carter, Valdosta, Ga. – 145
Rebecca Lee-Bentham, Canada – 145
Sarah-Jane Smith, Australia – 145
A – Mi Jung Hur, Korea – 145

May 20 – Lake Forest Golf & Country Club, St. Louis, Mo.
Jasi Acharya, Columbus, Mont. – 145
(a) Samantha Gotcher, Clarksville, Tenn. – 148
A – (a) Michelle Butler, Dunedin, Fla. – 149
A – (a) Sydney Needham, Villa Rica, Ga. – 151

May 20 – The Woodlands (Texas) Country Club (Player Course)
Marissa Steen, West Chester, Ohio – 146
Ashley Knoll, Shenandoah, Texas – 148
(a) Sierra Sims, Austin, Texas – 151
A – Kelsey Vines, Trinity, Texas – 151

May 20 – Rainier Golf & Country Club, Seattle, Wash.
(a) Jordan Ferreira, University Place, Wash. – 147
Carleigh Silvers, Greeley, Colo. – 150
A – (a) Aram Choi, Canada – 151
A – (a) Eimi Koga, Honolulu, Hawaii – 153

May 21 – Rumson (N.J.) Country Club
Catherine O’Donnell, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. – 144
Laura Davies, England – 147
A – (a) Isabella Dilisio, Hatfield, Pa. – 148
A – Elizabeth Caron, Stamford, Conn. – 148

May 27 – Industry Hills Golf Club, City of Industry, Calif.
(a) Andrea Lee, Hermosa Beach, Calif. – 138
Brianna Do, Lakewood, Calif. – 142
A – (a) Erynne Lee, Silverdale, Wash. – 143
A – Pinrath Loomboonruang, Thailand – 144

May 27 – Thorny Lea Golf Club, Brockton, Mass.
Caroline Powers, Bowling Green, Ohio – 136
(a) Megan Khang, Rockland, Mass. – 140
A – Emma Jandel, Dayton, Ohio – 143
A – (a) Juliet Vongphoumy, Providence, R.I. – 143

May 28 – Country Club at DC Ranch, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Sadena Parks, Scottsdale, Ariz. – 137
Cheyenne Woods, Phoenix, Ariz. – 141
(a) Madison Kerley, Scottsdale, Ariz. – 141
A – (a) Clare Amelia Legaspi, Philippines – 142
A – (a) Sophia Popov, Germany – 142

May 28-29 – The Ritz-Carlton Members Club, Bradenton, Fla.
Yueer Cindy Feng, People’s Republic of China – 135
Sandra Changkija, Orlando, Fla. – 139
Paula Hurtado, Colombia – 142
A – Anya Alvarez, Tulsa, Okla. – 142
A – (a) Doris Chen, Bradenton, Fla. – 142

May 29 – Carolina Trace Country Club (Lake Course), Sanford, N.C.
Stacey Keating, Australia – 140
Marta Silva, Spain – 141
Weiling Hsu, Chinese Taipei – 143
(a) Ally McDonald, Fulton, Miss. – 144
A – Rebecca Artis, Australia – 144
A – (a) Brittany Marchand, Canada – 145

May 30 – Quail Valley Golf Club, Vero Beach, Fla.
(a) Mathilda Cappeliez, France – 138
(a) Emily Penttila, Finland – 141
Karlin Beck, Montgomery, Ala. – 141
A – (a) Isabelle Lendl, Goshen, Conn. – 142
A – Jessica Alexander, Riverview, Fla. – 143