FAR HILLS, N.J. (May 4, 2012) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced that it has accepted a record 1,364 entries for the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open. Considered among the premier women’s golf events worldwide, the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open will be conducted July 5-8 at Blackwolf Run® in Kohler, Wis.
The 1,364 entries surpassed the previous record of 1,296, set at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club in 2010. It is the ninth consecutive year the number of entries for the championship has exceeded 1,000.
“The women who have applied to play in the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open represent the best female golfers in the world,” said Thomas J. O’Toole Jr., USGA vice president and chairman of the Championship Committee. “This record number of entries is indicative of the international reach of women’s golf, and we are very excited to host these players in our national championship.”
The first to file an entry was Abby Newton, a 17-year-old amateur from Katy, Texas, who was one of 55 people to enter on March 5, the first day applications were available. The last to file was Canada’s Ashley Sholer, who submitted her entry five minutes before the deadline of 5 p.m. on May 2. Sholer’s entry was one of 69 received on the final day, and one of 16 received in the last hour.
The youngest entrant is 11-year-old Elizabeth Wang, of San Marino, Calif., who will turn 12 on May 22. The oldest is Bobbi Lancaster, 61, of Gold Canyon, Ariz.
“The list of U.S. Women’s Open champions includes some of the most iconic names in the history of the game,” said Martha Lang, chairman of the USGA’s Women’s Committee. “We look forward to adding yet another name to that illustrious group in July at Blackwolf Run.”
Entries were received from 47 states (all except Alaska, Delaware and Maine) and 44 other countries. In addition to the USA, entries were received from: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, the People’s Republic of China, Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.
Eighty-five golfers are currently fully exempt from sectional qualifying for the upcoming championship, led by defending champion So Yeon Ryu, who won the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo. Eight other past winners who are fully exempt have also entered: Paula Creamer (2010); Juli Inkster (1999, 2002); Eun-Hee Ji (2009); Cristie Kerr (2007); Birdie Kim (2005); Se Ri Pak (1998); Inbee Park (2008) and Karrie Webb (2000, 2001). One other past champion, Laura Davies (1987), has entered sectional qualifying. Davies will attempt to qualify on Tuesday, May 29, at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md.
Eleven spots are reserved for the winner of the 2012 Wegmans LPGA Championship, any non-exempt players who win an official LPGA Tour event through the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship (which ends July 1), and those who enter the top 25 of the Rolex Rankings as of July 2.
The remainder of the field will be filled via 36-hole sectional qualifying, which will be played at 19 sites. Qualifying begins May 14 and runs through June 3.