By Laura Fellwock, AJGA Communications
The arrival of July 2016 carries several meanings in the world of sports throughout the world: Wimbledon, the Tour de France, the Olympics. But for the USGA, it signifies the 71st U.S. Women’s Open. After 1,855 entries, the second-most in history, 156 women will compete for the Harton S. Semple Trophy and title of U.S. Women’s Open champion.
Players will convene at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, California from 48 states and 52 countries from July 7-10. Of the 156 entries, 88 former or current AJGA players will take to the stage, including eight current AJGA players and seven former Rolex Junior Players of the Year. Four AJGA tournament hosts will also play for the title, and four AJGA alumnae have won a combined nine U.S. Women’s Open titles: Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Karrie Webb and Se Ri Pak.
Of the 24 amateur participants, 20 are former or current AJGA members. This is the first LPGA event CordeValle Golf Club will host after hosting the Frys.com Open on the PGA TOUR from 2010-2013 and the PGA Cup in 2015.
The eight current AJGA players playing in the event are Sierra Brooks, Allisen Corpuz, Yu Sang Hou, Mika Liu, Hannah O’Sullivan, Karah Sanford, Erica Shepherd and Yunjie Zhang.
Tee times for these juniors are as follows.
|Yunjie Zhang||7:16 a.m.*||12:41 p.m.|
|Hannah O'Sullivan||8:39 a.m.||2:14 p.m.*|
|Yu Sang Hou||12:30 p.m.||7:05 a.m.*|
|Allisen Corpuz||12:35 p.m.*||7:00 a.m.|
|Sierra Brooks||12:57 p.m.*||7:22 a.m.|
|Mika Liu||2:36 p.m.*||9:01 a.m.|
|Karah Sanford||2:42 p.m.||9:17 a.m.*|
|Erica Shepherd||2:47 p.m.*||9:12 a.m.|
AJGA Players in the Field
Sierra Brooks, 17, makes her first appearance in the U.S. Women’s Open after being runner-up at last year’s U.S. Women’s Amateur. She has six career AJGA wins and has been named a Rolex Junior All-American each year since 2011. Brooks competed on the 2016 U.S. Curtis Cup Team and will join the Wake Forest women’s golf team in the fall.
Allisen Corpuz, 18, makes her way to the U.S. Women’s Open after being named an alternate in 2013. With two AJGA titles to her name, most recently at the 2016 Winn Grips Heather Farr Classic hosted by Longbow Golf Club, Corpuz will play at the University of Southern California in the fall.
Yu Sang Hou, 16, will compete in her first U.S. Women’s Open after finishing second at last week’s Rolex Tournament of Champions. The rising senior from Taiwan has competed in two LPGA events this season: the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic Presented by CTBC.
Mika Liu, 17, was teammates with O’Sullivan and Brooks on this year’s Curtis Cup team, and she will compete in her first U.S. Women’s Open. Liu is a three-time Rolex Junior All-American and won the South Atlantic Amateur and Thunderbird International Junior earlier this year. She also teamed up with Rinko Mitsunaga to win the inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship in 2015.
Hannah O’Sullivan, 18, enters her third U.S. Women’s Open as the reigning Rolex Junior Player of the Year. In 2015, she finished the championship T53 before winning the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur over fellow competitor Sierra Brooks. Her 2015 season also included a win at the Symetra Tour’s Gateway Classic, making her the youngest winner in the Tour’s history.
At the age of 14, Karah Sanford enters her first U.S. Women’s Open as the youngest player in the 156-player field. She has 12 consecutive top-10 finishes in national tournaments and was named a second-team Rolex Junior All-American in 2015. Earlier this year, she made the cut and finished T51 at the LPGA Tour’s Volunteers of America Texas Shootout presented by JTBC.
A winner earlier this year at the AJGA Junior All-Star at The Virtues, 15-year-old Erica Shepherd will make her first appearance at the U.S. Women’s Open. She had four consecutive top-five finishes in 2015 and was named an honorable mention Rolex Junior All-American.
Yunjie Zhang, 17, enters the U.S. Women’s Open after finishing second at the Shanghai, China qualifier. The high school senior has three top-10 finishes in five career AJGA starts.