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Sectional Qualifying Storylines for the 2008 U.S. Women's Open
Sectional qualifying for the 2008 U.S. Women's Open will take place at various locations throughout the country on Monday, June 9. Here is some background for those seeking a place in the major championship, set for Interlachen Golf Club in Edina, Minn., June 26-29.
At Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. (The Farms Golf Club) - 78 golfers for 14 spots:
* Sweden's Liselotte Neumann leads the list of five past USGA champions in the field at Rancho Santa Fe. The 42-year-old Neumann, who won the 1988 U.S. Women's Open, will be joined by Tiffany Joh, 21, of San Diego, Calif., who won the 2006 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links; Mina Harigae, 18, of Monterey, Calif., who won the 2007 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links; Kristen Park, 15, of Buena Park, Calif. (2007 Girls' Junior); and Jenny Shin, 15, of Torrance, Calif. (2006 U.S. Girls' Junior).
* Joh and Harigae were both recent members of the USA's Curtis Cup team, which won the match on the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, as was Jennie Lee, 21, of Henderson, Nev., who played on the 2006 and 2008 USA teams and has played in the 2004, 2006 and the 2007 Women's Opens. She tied for low-amateur honors in 2007.
* Harigae was one of four amateurs to make the cut at the 2007 Women's Open.
* Park and Shin are two of four 15-year-olds in the field at Rancho Santa Fe. The others are: Danielle Frasier of Encinitas, Calif.; Danielle Kang of Oak Park, Calif.; Michelle Piyapattra of Corona, Calif.; and Beverly Vatananugulkit of Cerritos, Calif.
* The youngest in the qualifier is 13-year-old Paige Lee of Folsom, Calif. There is also one 14-year-old in the field: Lindsey Weaver of Scottsdale, Ariz.
* Jennifer Greggain of Canada was five months pregnant when she played in the 2001 Women's Open. In 2004, she was the last alternate to get into the field and made the most of it, making the cut and finishing tied for 44th.
* Amateurs Ha-Na Jang, 16, of Korea, Selanee Henderson, 21, of Apple Valley, Calif.; Tiffany Lua, 17, of Rowland Heights, Calif., and Paola Morena, 22, of Colombia, are trying to qualify for their second consecutive Women's Open. Both missed the cut at the 2007 championship.
* Maria Kostina became the first Russian to play in the U.S. Women's Open when she qualified for the 2007 championship. Her younger sister, Anastasia, will be trying to qualify at the Glencoe, Ill., site.
* Sydnee Michaels, 19, of Temecula, Calif., is trying to qualify for her third consecutive Women's Open. She missed the cut in 2006 and 2007.
* Jennifer Song, 18, of Korea, tied for low-amateur honors at the 2007 championship.
At Hobe Sound, Fla. (Loblolly Pines Golf Course) - 40 golfers for six spots:
* Alexis Thompson, 13, of Coral Springs, Fla., became the youngest Women's Open qualifier in history a year ago when she qualified at age 12. She also became the youngest to advance to the U.S. Women's Amateur quarterfinals, which she did in 2007. She is the younger sister of 2005 USA Walker Cupper Nick Thompson.
* The youngest player in sectional qualifying is Pearl Jin, 12, of San Gabriel, Fla. Jin advanced to the second round of the Women's Amateur championship a year ago.
* There is one 14-year-old - Victoria Tanco of Bradenton, Fla. - and one 15-year-old - Jessica Korda of Bradenton, Fla. - in the field at Hobe Sound.
* Vicky Hurst, 17, of Melbourne, Fla., was the runner-up at the 2006 U.S. Girls' Junior, and has since turned pro.
At Kahuku, Hawaii (Turtle Bay Resort) - three golfers for one spot:
* Anna Jang, 16, of Aiea, Hawaii; Cyd Okino, 14, of Honolulu, Hawaii; and Margarita Ramos, 18, of Phoenix, Ariz., are all seeking their first Women's Open berth.
At Glencoe, Ill. (Skokie Country Club) - 90 golfers for 19 spots:
* There are three USGA champions in the field at Glencoe: Robin (Weiss) Donnelly (1989 Women's Mid-Amateur); and Virada Nirapathpongporn (2002 Women's Amateur); and Alissa (Herron) Super (1999 Women's Mid-Amateur).
* Donnelly is also a three-time USA Curtis Cup team member, in 1990, 1992 and 2000.
* Super, of Deephaven, Minn., is the sister of PGA Tour pro Tim Herron and one of eight Minnesotans who will try to qualify at Glencoe. The others are: Lisa Grimes of Alexandria; Julie Hennessy of Lewiston; Kristin Lindstrom of Richfield; Martha Nause of Inver Grove Heights; Rebecca Quinby of Plymouth; Amy Schmucker of Cold Spring; and Karen Weiss of St. Paul.
* In 2005, Jana Peterkova became the first player from the Czech Republic to compete in a Women's Open. She also played in the 2007 championship.
* Ashley Prange of Noblesville, Ind., was the winner of the Golf Channel's Big Break V in Hawaii.
* There is one 15-year-old, Amy Anderson of Oxbow, N.D., in the field.
* Esther Choe, 18, of Scottsdale, Ariz., is seeking a spot in her fourth consecutive Women's Open.
At Rockville, Md. (Woodmont Country Club/Old South Country Club) - 122 golfers for 34 spots:
* There are 11 USGA champions in the field at Rockville: Brandie Burton (1989 Girls' Junior); Silvia Cavalleri (1997 Women's Amateur); Dorothy Delasin (1996 Girls' Junior; 1999 Women's Amateur); Meredith Duncan (2001 Women's Amateur); Vicki Goetze-Ackerman (1989, 1992 Women's Amateurs); Kelli Kuehne (1994 Girls' Junior; 1995, 1996 Women's Amateurs); Becky Lucidi (2001 Women's Amateur); Michelle McGann (1987 Girls' Junior); Jill McGill (1993 Women's Amateur; 1994 Women's Amateur Public Links); Wendy Ward (1994 Women's Amateur); and Michelle Wie (2003 Women's Amateur Public Links).
* Kuehne and Ward played for the USA in the Solheim Cup at Interlachen in 2002, as did Michele Redman of Minneapolis, who is trying to return to her home state for the Women's Open. Four European players from that Solheim Cup are also in the field at Rockville: Helen Alfredsson, Karine Icher, Carin Koch and Mhairi McKay.
* There are several past USA Curtis Cuppers in the field at Rockville: Emily Bastel (2002); Erica Blasberg (2004); Burton (1990); Duncan (2002); Mollie Fankhauser-Cavanaugh (2002); Goetze-Ackerman (1990, 1992); Kuehne (1996); Liz Janangelo (2004); Angela Jerman (2002); Paige Mackenzie (2006); McGill (1994); Jenny Suh (2006); Alison Walshe (2008); Ward (1994); Wie (2004); and Kimberly Williams (1986).
* Megan Grehan, a 20-year-old amateur from Mamaroneck, N.Y., will be seeking a spot in her fourth Women's Open. She also played in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
* Taylore Karle, 17, of Scottsdale, Ariz., is seeking a berth in her second Women's Open. She holds the record for the lowest 36-hole qualifying score in any amateur USGA championship. At the 2005 U.S. Girls' Junior at Banbury Golf Club in Eagle, Idaho, she shot a 63-67-130. Her birth date is June 26, the first day of the 2008 Women's Open.
* Stani Schiavone, 15, of Bangor, Pa., is the youngest player in sectional qualifying at Woodmont.
At Pinehurst, N.C. (Forest Creek Golf Club) - 38 golfers for five spots:
* There are two USGA champions in the field at Buies Creek - Meghan Bolger, the 2006 and 2007 U.S. Mid-Amateur winner, and Marcy (Newton) Hart, who won the 1995 Girls' Junior and the 2000 Women's Amateur.
* Bolger was a member of the USA Curtis Cup team that recently won on the Old Course at St. Andrews.
* Cydney Clanton, 18, of Concord, N.C., recently finished her freshman year at Auburn University and was named the National Golf Coaches Association Freshman of the Year.
* Marika Lendl, 18, of Goshen, Conn., is trying to make her first U.S. Women's Open. She is the daughter of tennis great Ivan Lendl.
* Annie Park, 13, of Levittown, N.Y., is the youngest in the field at Pinehurst.
* Sweden's Kristina Tucker would love to celebrate her 28th birthday at Interlachen - it's June 26, the first day of the 2008 Women's Open.
At Garland, Texas (Eastern Hills Country Club) - 28 golfers for four spots:
* There is one USGA champion in the field at Garland: reigning USGA Senior Women's Amateur winner Anna Schultz, 52, of Rockwall.
* Stacy Lewis, 23, of The Woodlands, won five matches to help lead the USA to victory at the 2008 Curtis Cup Match, played on the Old Course at St. Andrews. Lewis, who won the 2007 NCAA Division I individual title, missed the cut at the 2007 Women's Open.
* There are two other past USA Curtis Cuppers in the field at Garland: Taylor Leon (2006) and Stephanie (Keever) Louden (2000).
* Erynne Lee, 15, of Silverdale, Wash., won her local qualifier in Washington by three strokes. She's seeking a spot in her first Women's Open.
* There is one other 15-year-old in the field at Garland: Tanya Wadhwa, 15, of India, who is also seeking a berth in her first Women's Open.