It comes as no surprise that the USGA received a record 2,107 entries for the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links. This marks the first time that entries surpassed 2,000, with the previous record of 1,874 set last year at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club.
Everyone wants to be part of history.
Past champions Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr are among those who will have to advance through qualifying to compete in the first Women’s Open ever held at Pebble Beach. Kerr, 45, and Creamer, 36, are scheduled for the May 15 qualifier at Echo Lake Country Club, in Westfield, New Jersey. Both have previously received special exemptions into the championship.
World No. 1 Nelly Korda is among the 87 exempt players currently in the field. Players who win LPGA-sanctioned events between now and July 3 will also be added to the field as well as any player who is among the top 75 points leaders and ties from the Rolex Rankings as of July 3, not otherwise exempt. The winner of the 2023 NCAA Women’s Division I Championship will also secure a spot.
Three-time major champion Anna Nordqvist played Pebble Beach for the first time last week and nearly aced the par-3 seventh hole. She called it “probably” the best course she’s ever played in the U.S.
“I was lucky with the weather,” said Nordqvist. “It started blowing two, two and a half clubs on the back nine, but what an amazing golf course.
“Yeah, it was beyond what I could ever dream of, and it’s going to be an amazing tournament there for the U.S. Women’s Open. I’ve been pro since 2009, and just to have the opportunity to go to such like an iconic venue playing golf, I think it’s an amazing opportunity for the women’s game.”
Korda said at the Hanwha International Crown on Wednesday she had never played Pebble Beach. Danielle Kang said the same. Lexi Thompson played it for the first time last year during an outing, along with Cypress Point.
“It’s an amazing venue,” said Thompson. “I only got to play it for the first time towards the end of last year. I got probably the most perfect weather. It was about 70 degrees and blowing 5 miles per hour and everybody was like, don’t get used to that.”
The championship’s youngest entrant is 9-year-old Bella Simoes, an amateur from Brazil. Kimberly Williams, a 60-year-old professional from Bethesda, Md., is the oldest.
Here’s the list of players who are fully exempt into the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open (as of May 4):
Na Rin An
In Gee Chun
A Lim Kim
Hyo Joo Kim
Sei Young Kim
Jin Young Ko
Da Yeon Lee
So Mi Lee
Hee Jeong Lim
Nanna Koerstz Madsen
Min Ji Park
Sung Hyun Park
Hae Ran Ryu
Jodi Ewart Shadoff
Michelle Wie West