The famed Olympic Club during the 2012 (men’s) US Open – photo Bruce Young
Five Australians and two New Zealanders get to tee it up at this week’s US Women’s Open at the Olympic Club just outside of San Francisco, six of those having played the event previously.
The odd woman out is Brisbane golfer Emily Mahar who managed to qualify for the event at Sectional Qualifying in Virginia although Mahar has been living in the US since a family move when she was 13.
Mahar attends Virginia Tech and managed to secure the right to play the female game’s most significant event when earning one of the five spots available at her qualifying venue in April.
Interestingly, another of the Australians to make it into the field, Sarah Kemp qualified at the same venue.
Mahar and Kemp will be joined by fellow Australians, Minjee Lee, Hannah Green, Sarah Jane Smith and New Zealanders Lydia Ko and Amelia Garvey.
Jan Stephenson and Karrie Webb (twice) are the only Australians to have won the event, Stephenson in 1983 and Webb in consecutive years in 2000 and 2001.
This week’s venue will be used for the first time as the host of the US Women’s Open although it has been used on five occasions for the men’s version, the last of those in 2012 when Webb Simpson won the title.
8th hole Olympic Club photo USGA
Minjee Lee will be playing her 8th US Women’s Open, Hannah Green her 3rd, Sarah Jane Smith her 8th, Sarah Kemp her 5th and, as mentioned, Mahar her first.
Lydia Ko will play the event for the 10th time in 2021 and she has a best finish of all the Australasians in this week’s field, that coming when 3rd in 2016.
Christchurch’s Garvey, who has recently turned professional after a collegiate career at the USC, will play her second US Women’s Open but her first tournament of any sort in the paid ranks.