The road to the 76th U.S. Women’s Open Championship, which will be contested June 3-6, at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif., will begin with 22 qualifiers between April 26 and May 13. Each qualifier will be conducted over 36 holes.
The championship is open to female professionals and amateurs with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 2.4. Online entry applications open on Wednesday, Feb. 17 and continues through April 14 at champs.usga.org.
The return to qualifying comes after an unprecedented year in which the signature play-in opportunities were canceled due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns. A determination on the feasibility of international qualifying given the ongoing effects of the pandemic will be made in coming weeks. Since debuting in 2014, U.S. Women’s Open qualifying has typically been held in England, Japan, China and Korea.
“Last year was a difficult one in many respects and the decision to cancel qualifying did not come easily,” said John Bodenhamer, senior managing director, Championships. “We are thankful to be able to safely bring back qualifying and the openness that embodies all our championships in 2021.”
Of the 22 qualifying sites, California has the most of any state with four, while Florida has three.
Since U.S. Women’s Open qualifying began in 1976, two champions have come from the many thousands who have attempted to play their way into the championship. Hilary Lunke became the first qualifier to win the U.S. Women’s Open in 2003 with an 18-hole playoff victory at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. Birdie Kim became the only other qualifier to win a U.S. Women’s Open with her stunning victory in 2005 at Cherry Hills Country Club.
“The Olympic Club has been an incredible host site for the USGA and the U.S. Women’s Open is set to be an extraordinary championship there this year,” said Bodenhamer. “We are appreciative of all those who help make qualifying possible and we’re looking forward to having the best golfers in the world join us in San Francisco this summer.”
The record of 1,873 entries was established for the 2015 championship at Lancaster (Pa.) Country Club, which will again host the U.S. Women’s Open in 2024.
The 76th U.S. Women’s Open will be the 11th USGA championship to be played on the Lake Course at The Olympic Club, including five U.S. Opens (1955, 1966, 1987, 1998 and 2012). The club also previously hosted the 1958, 1981 and 2007 U.S. Amateurs, the 2004 U.S. Junior Amateur and the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship in 2015. It will also host the 2025 U.S. Amateur Championship.
The Lake Course was designed by course superintendent Sam Whiting and first opened for play in 1924. Improvements and updates were made by Robert Trent Jones before the 1955 U.S. Open and by Bill Love ahead of the 2007 U.S. Amateur and 2012 U.S. Open. The Olympic Club is recognized as one of the first 100 golf clubs established in the United States.
Considered the world’s premier women’s golf championship, the U.S. Women’s Open is one of 14 national championships conducted annually by the USGA. The championship began in 1946 and its winners include Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Betsy Rawls, Mickey Wright, Hollis Stacy, Amy Alcott, Meg Mallon, Annika Sorenstam, Se Ri Pak, Juli Inkster, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer, Inbee Park and Michelle Wie West. In December 2020, A Lim Kim birdied the final three holes at Champions Golf Club to capture the championship’s 75th edition, defeating Jin Young Ko and Amy Olson by one stroke.
2021 U.S. Women’s Open Qualifying Sites (22)
Monday, April 26 (4)
Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon (Champions Course), Beaumont, Calif.
Half Moon Bay (Calif.) Golf Links (Old Course)
Oceanside Country Club, Ormond Beach, Fla.
OGA Golf Course, Woodburn, Ore.
Tuesday, April 27 (1)
Belle Haven Country Club, Alexandria, Va.
Wednesday, April 28 (1)
Old Hickory Golf Club, St. Louis, Mo.
Thursday, April 29 (1)
Kishwaukee Country Club, Dekalb, Ill.
Monday, May 3 (5)
Brentwood Country Club, Los Angeles, Calif.
Marin Country Club, Novato, Calif.
Bradenton (Fla.) Country Club
Druid Hills Golf Club, Atlanta, Ga.
Somerset Country Club, Mendota Heights, Minn.
Tuesday, May 4 (3)
Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club, Southern Pines, N.C.
Shannopin Country Club, Pittsburgh, Pa.
The Clubs at Houston Oaks, Hockley, Texas
Wednesday, May 5 (1)
Dedham (Mass.) Country & Polo Club
Monday, May 10 (4)
The Ranch Country Club, Westminster, Colo.
Oahu Country Club, Honolulu, Hawaii
Spring Lake Golf Club, Spring Lake, N.J.
Oakmont Country Club, Corinth, Texas
Tuesday, May 11 (1)
Banyan Cay Resort & Golf Club, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Thursday, May 13 (1)
Superstition Mountain Golf Club, Gold Canyon, Ariz.
NOTE: Qualifying sites and dates are subject to change.