2021 U.S. Women’s Open Preview

2021 U.S. Women’s Open Preview

Key Details

When: June 3-6, 2021
Where: The Olympic Club, San Francisco, California
Course: Lake Course
Defending Champion: A Lim Kim
Par: 71
Field: 156 players
TV times: (ET)
6/3 – Golf Channel – 7:00pm – 11:00pm (ET)
6/4 – Golf Channel – 7:00pm – 11:00pm (ET)
6/5 – NBC – 2:00pm – 5:00pm (ET)
6/5 – Golf Channel – 5:00pm – 10.00pm (ET)
6/6 NBC – 3:00 – 7:00pm (ET)

U.S. Women’s Open champions in field (13)

Na Yeon Choi (2012), In Gee Chun (2015), Paula Creamer (2010), Eun Hee Ji (2009), Ariya Jutanugarn (2018), Cristie Kerr (2007), A Lim Kim (2020), Brittany Lang (2016), Jeongeun Lee6 (2019), Inbee Park (2008, 2013), Sung Hyun Park (2017), So Yeon Ryu (2011), Michelle Wie West (2014)

Betsy King
A Lim Kim at the 2019 Hana Financial Group Championship. Photo by Ben Harpring

U.S. Women’s Amateur Champions in the Field (7)

Kristin Gillman (2014, 2018), Danielle Kang (2010, 2011), Lydia Ko (2012), Jennifer Song (2009), Emma Talley (2013), Rose Zhang (2020)

Players with Most U.S. Open Appearances

Cristie Kerr (26), Angela Stanford (22), Paula Creamer (18), Christina Kim (17), Brittany Lang (17), Michelle Wie West (16), Stacy Lewis (15), Inbee Park (15), Lexi Thompson (15), Amy Yang (15), Shanshan Feng (14), Eun-Hee Ji (14), In-Kyung Kim (14), Jessica Korda (14), Jennifer Song (14)

Countries Represented (27)

Countries with players in the field – United States (61), Republic of Korea (19), Japan (10), Sweden (7), Thailand (7), Australia (5), Germany (5), Spain (5), England (4), People’s Republic of China (4), Canada (4), Chinese Taipei (4), South Africa (3), France (2), Mexico (2), New Zealand (2), Denmark (1), Italy (1), Philippines (1), Malaysia (1), Netherlands (1), Northern Ireland (1), Norway (1), Ecuador (1), Finland (1), Hong Kong (1), Switzerland (1)

US States Represented (21)

California (13), Texas (8), Florida (7), South Carolina (5), Arizona (3), Hawaii (3), Colorado (2), Massachusetts (2), Minnesota (2), New Jersey (2), Nevada (2), Ohio (2), Tennessee (2), Illinois (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Maryland (1), Mississippi (1), North Carolina (1), North Dakota (1), Oregon (1)

Youngest Competitors

Chloe Kovelesky (born 1-25-07), Jaclyn LaHa (born 4-07-05), Megha Ganne (born 3-05-04) and Isabella McCauley (born 1-6-04) are the four youngest competitors. Chloe, age 14, is the youngest competitor in the U.S. Women’s Open since Lucy Li made history in 2014 as the youngest golfer to qualify for the championship at age 11.

Danielle Kang 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – Photo Ben Harpring

Oldest Competitors

Cristie Kerr, at age 43 (born Oct. 12, 1977) and Angela Stanford, at age 43 (born Nov. 28, 1977), are the oldest players in this year’s U.S. Women’s Open field.

U.S. Women’s Open Debut

40 players in the 2021 championship field are playing in their first U.S. Women’s Open. Only five players have won the U.S. Women’s Open in their first start: A Lim Kim (2020), In Gee Chun (2015), Birdie Kim (2005), Kathy Cornelius (1956), Patty Berg (1946).

Sisters in the Field

For the seventh consecutive year, and eighth time overall, sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn, of Thailand, are both in the field. In the field together for the seventh time are sisters Jessica and Nelly Korda.

Emma Talley
Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn at the 2019 Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational – Photo Ben Harpring

Top-Ranked Amateur Players in the Field

No. 1 – Rose Zhang
No. 6 – Rachel Heck

Notable Amateur Storylines

Rose Zhang, 17, of Irvine, Calif., defeated defending champion Gabriela Ruffels to win the 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur last August, which earned her a spot into the championship. She is currently No. 1 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking. Her incredible 2020 season also includes three American Junior Golf Association individual titles and an 11th-place finish and low-amateur honors in the ANA Inspiration in September. Zhang was awarded the McCormack Medal by the USGA and R&A last year for being the leading female in the WAGR. She is the reigning AJGA Rolex Player of the Year for a second consecutive year. She finished T3 in the 2021 Augusta National Women’s Amateur. Zhang is making her third U.S. Women’s Open start.

Rachel Heck, 19, of Memphis, Tenn., capped off a remarkable freshman season with the Stanford Cardinals on May 24 by winning the individual title in the NCAA Division I Women’s Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club. It was Heck’s fifth consecutive individual victory this season, and sixth total, including wins at the NCAA Stanford Regional, the Pac-12 Championships and the U.S. Open Collegiate Invitational, which was held at The Olympic Club. She is making her second U.S. Women’s Open start after tying for 33rd in 2017. Last August, Heck was the stroke-play medalist in the U.S. Women’s Amateur before losing in the Round of 16. Along with current fellow Stanford freshman Sadie Englemann, she advanced to the semifinals of the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball.

What the Winner Receives

The champion will receive the Mickey Wright Medal, custody of the Harton S. Semple Trophy for the ensuing year, and an exemption from qualifying for the next 10 U.S. Women’s Open Championships, and a replica of the Harton S. Semple Trophy.The purse for the U.S. Women’s Open is $5.5 million, the largest in women’s golf, with the champion receiving $1 million, provided she is a professional.

Title Defense

Should A Lim Kim win, she would become the eighth player to successfully defend her championship title. She would join Mickey Wright (1958-59), Donna Caponi (1969-70), Susie Maxwell Berning (1972-73), Hollis Stacy (1977-78), Betsy King (1989-90), Annika Sorenstam (1995-96) and Karrie Webb (2000-01).

Future U.S. Women’s Open Host Sites

June 2-5, 2022 – Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club, Southern Pines, N.C.
June 1-4, 2023 – Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links
May 30-June 2, 2024 – Lancaster (Pa.) Country Club
May 29-June 1, 2025 – Erin Hills, Erin, Wis.

Feature photo Lexi Thompson at the 2019 LPGA Mediheal Championship and all other photos by Ben Harpring.

Gee Chun

Tony Jesselli is the former author of the very popular blog TONYS LPGA REPORT, which covered tour and player news from January of 2010 to September of 2019. Tony has earned the reputation as the ‘go-to’ resource for up to date and accurate news about the LPGA.

Follow Tony on Twitter @tonyjesselli where he posts regularly. 

See all of Tony’s WomensGolf.com articles

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