Olympic Club U.S. Women’s Open has Arizona flair

The Olympic Club is hosting the US Women’s Open for the first time this week. This will be the 12th course to host both the US Open and the US Women’s Open.

On Thursday, the 156 golf course will head to the famous course. Of the players, 14 have ties to Arizona. Many of these are related to the Arizona State golf program, but there are others who live in Arizona.

Here’s a closer look:

Current Sun Devil

Amanda linner

In Sweden’s sophomore, Linner finished 66th at Grayhawk in the NCAAs and gained valuable experience along the way. She arrived at ASU mid-year in 2020, joining Missy Farr-Kaye’s team at the start of the spring semester. She passed the qualifications at Superstition Mountain. Before landing in Tempe, she received an invitation to the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

Elders Sun Devils

Carlota Ciganda

Ciganda made conference history in 2010 when she became the first consecutive Pac-10 champion. Three years earlier, she had beaten Anna Nordqvist to win the British Amateur. Ciganda has won two LPGA victories and was part of four Solheim Cup teams.

Giulia Molinaro

In 2012, Molinaro became the fourth ASU golfer to be named Pac-12 Golfer of the Year. Tied for second place in the Pac-12 championships and was named conference first team. Turned pro in October 2012 and seeks his first LPGA victory. She was part of the 2006 Ryder Cup junior team.

Azahara Munoz

Munoz was the 2008 NCAA Individual National Champion in 2008 and was a member of the 2009 team that won the tag team title. Munoz represented Europe at the Solheim Cup three times: 2002, 2003 and 2005.

Anna nordqvist

One of the most decorated former Sun Devils, Nordqvist didn’t need to qualify to make it to the Olympic club. The 2007 Pac-10 Player of the Year and Conference Co-Champion and 2008 First Team Pac-10 Golfer has won eight times as a pro with two majors. She has participated in six Solheim Cups. Adding a third career Grand Slam stopper is next on his to-do list.

Louise stahle

Stahle won the Pac-10 Championship as a rookie in 2005. Her time at Tempe was short, as she turned pro after just one season with the Sun Devils. She is looking for her first LPGA victory.

Linnea Strom

Strom was a member of the ASU NCAA’s top eighth and the program’s most recent national team title in 2017. She was also the 2016 conference champion, two-time All-American first team. She finished in the top 10 in four fall tournaments in 2017 before dropping out of school prematurely to turn pro. She got her LPGA card in 2018 and is looking for her first professional victory.

Monica vaughn

Vaughn has tried to qualify for the Open nearly a dozen times. The attempts date back to her early teenage years, growing up in Oregon. The 36 hole qualifying in April was just like his day. With boyfriend Justin Fisher serving as her caddy for the first time, Vaughn opened with 9-under 63, followed with a 71 and easily clinched medal honors and one of two spots available. Now an assistant coach for Oregon, Vaughn, who has never tried to play professionally, led the Sun Devils to the 2009 NCAA Championship.

Arizona NCAA Heroes

Haley moore

With longtime family friend James Eidson on the sack for the 36-hole qualifying round three weeks ago, Moore finally made it to the US Women’s Open after several attempts. “I would say this is my sixth or seventh year. Finally! ”Moore put in the decisive putt for the Wildcats in 2018 when they won the NCAA Championship.

Local flair

Cristie Kerr

Third on the all-time silver list in LPGA history and one of three to surpass the $ 20 million career-earning mark, Kerr is on the court thanks to a special exemption. She will play the first two rounds alongside two other US Open champions, Paula Creamer and Michelle Wie West. Kerr, who lives in Scottsdale, is the 2007 US Women’s Open champion. She is making her 24th consecutive championship start this week.

Sarah schmelzel

A product of local powerhouse Phoenix Xavier Prep, she won the Arizona High School State Golf Championship in 2011. She has fond memories of watching LPGA events as a child. In 2001, she was taken out of school by her father and the two were pushed around at Moon Valley Country Club where she was able to attend Annika Sorenstam’s historic 59, still the only under-60 tour of the history of the LPGA.

Emily mahar

Also a former Xavier Prep alumnus, Mahar returned to Arizona with her teammates from Virginia Tech to compete in the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships at Grayhawk in Scottsdale. She won a state title with the Gators every four years in high school and helped the Hokies make school history: In just season six of the program, Virginia Tech qualified for the national championship. for the first time. The Hokies finished tied for 21st among 24 teams.

Cheyenne woods

Yet another Xavier Prep star, Woods is at the US Women’s Open as a qualifier. In qualifying, she took a two-stroke penalty for hitting the wrong ball. “Honestly, I feel like the penalty really played a part in my focus and made me a little angry,” Woods said, “where I just wanted to play my way.” She ended up winning the qualification by five strokes.

Sophia popov

Popov first won a pro event at age 28 on the Cactus Tour, an Arizona-based mini-tour, in 2020. She followed that with two more Cactus Tour wins, but it was a tie for ninth. in an LPGA event that got her on the pitch at the 2020 AIG British Women’s Open. From there, the rest is history, as Popov rose from the 304th ranked player without LPGA status to that of major champion. She joins Bernhard Langer and Martin Kaymer as the only Germans to have won a major championship. Popov, who now lives in Scottsdale, helped USC in the 2013 NCAA Championship. On Sunday, in his final tune-up for the US Women’s Open, Popov lost in the LPGA Match Play final in Las Vegas to Ally Ewing.

Become pro

Olivia Mehaffey didn’t make it through USWO qualifiers, so turned pro just days after the NCAAs. The fifth senior year was key to bringing the Sun Devils to the match play portion of the event for the first time in four years.

“Olivia Mehaffey is a very special young woman and she is a very special Sun Devil and her experience and leadership is incredible,” Farr-Kaye told Grayhawk last week. “She’s only our third four-time All-American we’ve ever had at Arizona State; she’s part of a very elite group of golfers. I guess she’s a future hall-of-famer.”

Mehaffey knew that focusing on the NCAA while thinking about his professional future required him to juggle.

“As soon as we’re done, I get on a plane and go to Florida. I turn pro the next day so it’s weird but I told myself before this week that I wanted to enjoy every moment of this week. How lucky am I to be able to play my last amateur tournament at home away from home. ASU has meant a lot to me over the past few years so I have the opportunity to play my last amateur event and the last ASU event and it’s very special to me. “

Mehaffey’s first professional debut ended in a missed cut at a Symetra Tour event in Florida last weekend.

Beth Ann Nichols and Julie Williams of Golfweek and Katherine Fitzgerald of The Arizona Republic contributed to this article.


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