LPGA Tour US OPEN

Henderson, Sharp in 156-player field at U.S. Women's Open

Brooke Henderson, Alena Sharp
MIDLAND, MICHIGAN - JULY 19: Teammates Brooke Henderson (L) and Alena Sharp walk to the sixth green during round three of the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational at Midland Country Club on July 19, 2019 in Midland, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. – The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced that the field for the 75th U.S. Women’s Open Championship is complete with the addition of 28 players who earned their way into the championship through the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. The final major championship of the 2020 golf season will be contested Dec. 10-13 at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas. The 156-player field for the championship is composed entirely of exempt players due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The historic 75th anniversary field boasts nine U.S. Women’s Open champions, while 42 players will be making their championship debuts in Houston. The field will also have seven Texas residents, including 2016 champion Brittany Lang, who grew up in McKinney. The 28 players who gained entry via the Rolex Rankings are: Hae Ran Ryu, Sophia Popov, Ayaka Furue, Yuka Saso, Sakura Koiwai, Na Rin An, Song Yi Ahn, Erika Hara, Yuna Nishimura, Ji Hyun Kim, Anne van Dam, Alena Sharp, Lala Anai, Eri Okayama, Cristie Kerr, Pornanong Phatlum, Jun Min Lee, Ji Hun Oh, Emily Kirstine Pedersen, Mi Jeong Jeon, Maria Fernanda Torres, Bo Ah Kim, Teresa Lu, Wei-Ling Hsu, Ye Rim Choi, Asuka Kashiwabara, Sarah Schmelzel, and So Yi Kim.

Hae Ran Ryu won the Jeju Samdasoo Masters in 2019 to earn her LPGA of Korea Tour card and successfully defended her title in August. The 19-year-old also has two runner-up finishes among her six top-10s this year. She will be making her U.S. Women’s Open debut. Popov will be making her second U.S. Women’s Open start. Since turning professional in 2014, Popov has mainly played on the Symetra Tour, but she earned three tournament wins on the Cactus Tour during the COVID-19 break before earning her first major victory at the AIG Women’s Open at Royal Troon in August. Kerr is one of the nine U.S. Women’s Open champions set to compete in Houston. The seasoned veteran earned her first major title in the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles, finishing two strokes ahead of the runners-up. Kerr has 20 LPGA Tour wins, including a second major championship title at the Women’s PGA Championship in 2010. This is Kerr’s 22nd straight Women’s Open appearance, with seven top-10 finishes in addition to her victory. The USGA announced on April 3 that the 75th U.S. Women’s Open, initially scheduled for June 4-7, would be moved to Dec. 10-13. To account for reduced daylight, the Jackrabbit Course at Champions Golf Club will be used in Rounds 1 and 2 along with the Cypress Creek Course, which was originally slated to host all four rounds of championship play. In June, the USGA announced that the championship would be conducted without traditional qualifying and on Oct. 21, the USGA announced that the championship would not have fans on-site due to health and safety concerns resulting from the ongoing pandemic. 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. Click here for the full field.]]>

US OPEN

Gary Woodland wins US Open at Pebble Beach

Gary Woodland (Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 16: Gary Woodland of the United States celebrates on the 18th green after winning the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 16, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Gary Woodland denied Brooks Koepka’s bold bid at history with two clutch shots and made U.S. Open memories of his own, starting with that silver trophy in his hands at Pebble Beach.

Woodland finished in style Sunday. He holed a 30-foot birdie putt for a 2-under 69, giving him the lowest 72-hole score in six U.S. Opens at Pebble Beach and a three-shot victory over Koepka, who was going for a third straight U.S. Open.

Koepka had to settle for a footnote in history as the first player with all four rounds in the 60s at the U.S Open without winning. But he made Woodland earn every bit of his first major championship.

Clinging to a one-shot lead with more pressure than he has ever felt, Woodland seized control by going for the green on the par-5 14th hole with a 3-wood from 263 yards, narrowly clearing a cavernous bunker and setting up a simple up-and-down for a two-shot lead.

Even more significant was a shot from 90 feet.

Woodland hit the edge of the green on the par-3 17th all the way to the right, with the pin on the hourglass green on the other side.

Ahead on the 18th, Koepka’s 3-iron went just over the back of the green, leaving him a chip for eagle to tie, with a birdie likely to do the trick considering what Woodland faced. Koepka chipped to just inside 10 feet and missed the putt.

Gary Woodland

PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 16: Gary Woodland of the United States poses with the trophy after winning the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 16, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Woodland delivered again. Unable to use putter to get it close, he perfectly clipped a pitch over the mound, and it checked about 12 feet short of the hole and trickled down to tap-in range.

That effectively ended the U.S. Open. Woodland played conservatively down the 18th and made one last birdie that only mattered in the record book. He finished at 13-under 271, one shot better than Tiger Woods’ historic rout in 2000.

The difference was Woods won by 15 shots and was the only player under par. With a marine layer blocking the sunshine, and no significant wind at Pebble Beach all week, 31 players finished under par.

Koepka closed with a 68 for his second runner-up in the majors this year, along with his second straight PGA Championship title.

Justin Rose was the only one who caught Woodland, with a birdie on the opening hole. Rose bogeyed from the bunker on No. 2, and fell out of the race with three bogeys in a four-hole stretch on the back nine. He shot 74 and shared third with Xander Schauffele (67), Jon Rahm (68) and Chez Reavie (71).