By Keely Levins
Stacy Lewis doesn’t have to sweat it out any more. When the U.S. Women’s Open is held in December in her hometown of Houston, she’ll be among the 156 players in the field.
Lewis officially claimed her spot on Monday when the USGA announced the 10 players who had been added to the field based on their positions on the 2020 LPGA Tour money list. The top 10 women not otherwise exempt to play at Champions Golf Club received invitations. Lewis sits at 10th on the money list, thanks in part to her victory at the Ladies Scottish Open in August, ranking second among players who weren’t already in the field.
The nine other tour pros to get an exemption via the money list are: No. 7 Jasmine Suwannapura, No. 25 Jodi Ewart Shadoff, No. 33 Cydney Clanton, No. 37 Andrea Lee, No. 40 Mina Harigae, No. 42 Kelly Tan, No. 46 Perrine Delacour, No. 48 Xiyu Lin and No. 54 Lindsey Weaver. Weaver, you may recall, is the player who used a pushcart at the AIG Women’s British Open. She finished 19th.
The 2020 U.S. Women’s Open will be different from any previous year in a variety of ways, not the least of which in how the field is filled. The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the usual qualification processes from taking place, meaning the USGA would allow only exempt players to compete. To try to make it replicate the diverse mix of golfers that traditionally play in the national championship, the USGA established several one-time exempt categories.
Lewis, who has played in the U.S. Women’s Open 13 previous times, had not qualified under any other exemption, although after her victory in Scotland, she had almost assuredly locked up one of the 10 spots from the LPGA money list. She is one of nine Texans who will be playing in December.
There have been numerous changes to the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open beyond how the field is determined. Namely the date. Instead of being played in June as originally planned, this year the U.S. Women’s Open will be held Dec. 10-13. And instead of being played on one golf course, the major will be contested on two. Due to the realities of winter daylight, the first two rounds will be played on two courses, Jackrabbit and Cypress. After the cut, the remaining two rounds of the championship will be played on Cypress.
As with all LPGA Tour events to date, the U.S. Women’s Open will be held without fans.