Courtesy of USGA
Golfers looking to compete in the 77th U.S. Women’s Open Championship Presented by ProMedica at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club June 2-5 in Southern Pines, N.C., have two ways to get into the field. They can become exempt through a variety of categories or play their way to the championship at one of 26 qualifying sites.
Qualifying will be conducted over 36 holes at locations in 17 U.S. states plus three international sites between April 19-May 16. The championship is open to female professionals and amateurs with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 2.4. Online entry applications opened on Wednesday, Feb. 16 and registration continues through Wednesday, April 6 at 5 p.m. EDT at champs.usga.org.
“The U.S. Women’s Open is the most open championship in golf, offering golfers from around the world the chance to live out a lifelong dream,” said John Bodenhamer, senior managing director, Championships. “A qualifying process on this stage contributes to the championship’s competitive field, and we thank those, including our Allied Golf Associations, who play a role in identifying the game’s best who will tee it up at Pine Needles this June.”
After being canceled each of the last two years due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns, international qualifying returns in 2022 with events in the Republic of Korea, Japan and England. California will host the most qualifiers of any state with four, while Florida and Texas will host three and two, respectively.
Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club, located across the street from Pine Needles, will host a qualifier on Tuesday, May 3. A complete schedule can be found below.
Since U.S. Women’s Open qualifying began in 1976, two champions have come from the 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 with an 18-hole playoff victory at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in 2003. Birdie Kim became the only other qualifier to win a U.S. Women’s Open with her stunning victory at Cherry Hills Country Club in 2005.
The USGA accepted 1,595 entries for the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif., which marked the seventh consecutive time the championship has received more than 1,500 entries. 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 field size for the U.S. Women’s Open is 156. A list of those who have already earned a place in the field through an exemption can be found here. As announced last month by the USGA, this year’s purse will be an industry-leading and record-setting $10 million.
Courtesy of USGA
The 77th U.S. Women’s Open will be the seventh USGA championship and record fourth U.S. Women’s Open contested at Pine Needles, which also hosted the second U.S. Senior Women’s Open in 2019. The U.S. Women’s Open was last held at Pine Needles in 2007, when Cristie Kerr won the first of her two majors with a two-stroke victory over Lorena Ochoa and Angela Park. Pine Needles also hosted the 2001 U.S. Women’s Open, won by Karrie Webb, and the 1996 U.S. Women’s Open, won by Annika Sorenstam. Their victories at Pine Needles made both Webb and Sorenstam back-to-back champions, having each won the previous year; Webb is the most recent of seven players who have accomplished the feat.
Designed by Donald Ross and opened in 1928, Pine Needles was renovated in 2004 by John Fought, who oversaw the restoration of greens and bunkers to their original forms with the aid of vintage aerial photos. In 2019, Kyle Franz completed a green rebuilding and bunker restoration project that aimed to maximize hole locations. The club, which was owned by women’s golf advocate, renowned instructor and LPGA Tour charter member Peggy Kirk Bell from 1953 until her death in 2016, also hosted the 1989 U.S. Girls’ Junior and 1991 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur championships.
Considered the world’s premier women’s golf championship, the U.S. Women’s Open is one of 15 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 2021, Yuka Saso defeated Nasa Hataoka in a three-hole playoff at The Olympic Club’s Lake Course to capture the championship’s 76th edition.
2022 U.S. Women’s Open Qualifying Sites (26)
Tuesday, April 19
Meridian Valley Country Club, Kent, Wash.
Friday, April 22
Dream Park Country Club, Incheon, Republic of Korea
Monday, April 25
Boso Country Club, Chiba, Japan
Tuesday, April 26
Soule Park Golf Course, Ojai, Calif.
Gainey Ranch Golf Club, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Thursday, April 28
Canyon Creek Country Club, Richardson, Texas
Monday, May 2
Mark Bostick Golf Course at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
Tuesday, May 3
Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club, Southern Pines, N.C.
Shannopin Country Club, Pittsburgh, Pa.
The Clubs at Houston Oaks, Hockley, Texas
Wednesday, May 4
The Forest Country Club, Fort Myers, Fla.
Fox Run Golf Club, Eureka, Mo.
Ohio State University Golf Club, Columbus, Ohio
Monday, May 9
El Macero (Calif.) Country Club
Pauma Valley (Calif.) Country Club
Willoughby Golf Club, Stuart, Fla.
Dunwoody Country Club, Atlanta, Ga.
Oahu Country Club, Honolulu, Hawaii
Stonebridge Country Club, Aurora, Ill.
Chaska (Minn.) Town Course
Tuesday, May 10
Dragonfly Golf Club, Madera, Calif.
Walnut Creek Golf Preserve, Westminster, Colo.
Morris County Golf Club, Morristown, N.J.
Wednesday, May 11
Belle Haven Country Club, Alexandria, Va.
Thursday, May 12
Worcester (Mass.) Country Club
Monday, May 16
Buckinghamshire Golf Club, Denham, Buckinghamshire, England
Qualifying sites and dates subject to change
Julia Pine, USGA Communications