Sherri Steinhauer will play in the U.S. Open this year, just not in the sport that defined the Madison native for the better part of 26 years.
Steinhauer was one of three golfers with Wisconsin ties who met at least one of 12 criteria categories for exemptions into the U.S. Senior Women's Open, the United States Golf Association announced Wednesday. The 72-hole event will be played for the first time July 12 through 15 at Chicago GC in Wheaton, Illinois. Three-time LPGA Tour winner Martha Nause of Sheboygan and Becky Iverson, now the director of golf at Bridges GC in Madison, are also exempt from qualifying for the USGA's first major championship for women 50 and older.
"At this point I will not be playing," Steinhauer, who retired from the LPGA in 2012, wrote in a text message to Wisconsin.Golf. "I haven't touched a club in 28 months. Will take too much to prepare. But I am playing in the Pickleball US Open" in Naples, Florida, at the end of April.
Steinhauer, exempt by virtue of being a past major championship winner and for being among the top 150 in LPGA career earnings, has been playing pickleball, a racquet sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong, actively since her retirement from golf. In November, she won a mixed-doubles national championship with partner Mike Moonan of Palm Desert, California, at the USAPA Championship in Arizona.
Nause, on the other hand, can't wait for the first U.S. Senior Women's Open. She qualified for an exemption as a past major champion (the 1994 du Maurier Classic) and for her play on the Legends Tour.
"I wasn't sure they had an exemption for the du Maurier champions because at first it wasn't listed," Nause wrote in a text to Wisconsin.Golf. "But upon further investigation, they confirmed it was there. Phew!"
Iverson is also exempt based on having finished in the top 30 on the 2017 Legend Tour money list and intends to play. She hopes adding the U.S. Senior Women's Open following last year's addition of the Senior LPGA Championship will lead to more expansive senior circuit for women in the future.
"A lot of women have been working for a long time to get this event and it is great to see the USGA recognize the senior LPGA players," Iverson wrote in an email to Wisconsin.Golf. "Hopefully, this will help open the door for more opportunities."
|Kristi Albers||6||a-Catherine Lacoste||1, 4|
|Amy Alcott||1, 5, 6||Jenny Lidback||5, 12|
|Helen Alfredsson||5, 6, 10, 11, 12||Murle Lindstrom||1|
|Danielle Ammaccapane||6||Sally Little||5|
|Janet Alex Anderson||1||Nancy Lopez||5, 6|
|Donna Andrews||5, 6, 12||Marilyn Lovander||12|
|Judy (Rosenthal) Anschutz||5||Pat O’Sullivan Lucey||5|
|Tina Barrett||6||Meg Mallon||1, 5, 6|
|Jean Bartholomew||7, 11, 12||Carol Mann||1, 5|
|Laura Baugh||3||a-Barbara McIntire||4|
|Susie Berning||1, 5||Lauri Merten||1|
|Nancy Bowen||5||Alice Miller||5|
|Pat Bradley||1, 5, 6||Mary Mills||1, 5|
|Jerilyn Britz||1||Barb Moxness||12|
|a-Mary Budke||4||Barb Mucha||6, 11, 12|
|Betty Burfeindt||5||Martha Nause||5, 11, 12|
|Donna Caponi||1, 5||Liselotte Neumann||1, 6, 11, 12, 13|
|JoAnne Gunderson Carner||1, 3, 6||Alison Nicholas||1|
|Kay Cockerill||3||Ayako Okamoto||6|
|Kathy Cornelius||1||Joanne Pacillo||3|
|Jane Crafter||12||Sandra Palmer||1, 5|
|Jean Ashley Crawford||3||Dottie Pepper||5, 6|
|Beth Daniel||3, 5, 6||a-Ellen Port||14|
|Laura Davies||1, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12||Sandra Post||5|
|Alicia Dibos||12||Cindy Rarick||6|
|Judy Dickinson||6||Betsy Rawls||1, 5|
|Mary Lou Dill||3||Michele Redman||6, 11, 12|
|Dale Eggeling||6||Deb Richard||3, 6|
|a-Macarena Campomanes Eguiguren||17||Laurie Rinker||7, 12|
|Gloria Ehret||5||Kelly Robbins||5|
|Shirley Englehorn||5||Kim Saiki-Maloney||6|
|Cindy Figg-Currier||12||a-Terrill Samuel||14|
|Jane Geddes||1, 5, 6||a-Anne Quast Sander||4|
|Tammie Green||5, 6||Nancy Scranton||5, 6|
|Lisa Grimes||7, 12||Patty Sheehan||1, 5, 6|
|Kathy Baker Guadagnino||1||Cathy Sherk||3|
|Marlene Hagge||5||Judy Kimball Simon||5|
|a-Patricia Lesser Harbottle||4||Pearl Sinn||3|
|Sandra Haynie||1, 5||Val Skinner||6, 12|
|Chako Higuchi||5||Marilynn Smith||5|
|Carolyn Hill||3, 11||Hollis Stacy||1, 5, 6, 12|
|Cindy Hill||3||Sherri Steinhauer||5, 6|
|Juli Inkster||1, 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13||Jan Stephenson||1, 5, 6|
|Becky Iverson||12||a-Marlene Stewart Streit||4|
|Christa Johnson||5, 6, 12||a-Carol Semple Thompson||4|
|Trish Johnson||11, 12, 13||Kris Tschetter||6|
|Cathy Johnston-Forbes||5, 11||Sherri Turner||5, 6|
|Rosie Jones||6, 12||Donna Horton White||3|
|Lorie Kane||6, 11, 12, 13||Kathy Whitworth||5|
|Betsy King||1, 5, 6, 12||a-Sue Wooster||17|
|a-Martha Kirouac||4||Mickey Wright||1, 5|
|Hiromi Kobayashi||6||Joyce Ziske||5|
Bold – U.S. Women’s Open champion a-amateur
Key to Player Exemptions:
- Players eligible to play in 2018 who have won a U.S. Women’s Open Championship (10-year exemption).
- From the most recent U.S. Women’s Open Championship, any player returning a 72-hole score.
- Any professional or amateur for reinstatement who has won the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship (one-year exemption).
- Any amateur who has won the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship (five-year exemption) and the 2017 runner-up.
- Players who have won any of the following events when deemed a major* by the LPGA Tour: ANA Inspiration (1983-present), Evian Championship (2013-present), Ricoh Women’s British Open (2001-present), du Maurier Classic (1979-2000), KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (1955-present), Titleholders Championship (1946-1966 and 1972) or the Wester Open (1930-1967) (10-year exemption). *including former names of said events, such as the LPGA Championship Kraft Nabisco/Dinah Shore.
- From the final 2017 LPGA Tour all-time money list, the top 150 money leaders and ties.
- Winners of the LPGA Teaching & Club Professional Championship (Championship Division) the last five years and the five lowest scorers and ties from the most recent championship.
- Winners of LPGA Tour co-sponsored events whose victories are considered official in the last five calendar years (2013-2017) and during the current calendar year to the initiation of the U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship. (NOTE: The USGA will file blank entries for those players who become exempt after the close of entries).
- From the 2017 official Ladies European Tour and Japan LPGA career money lists, the top five money leaders.
- Playing members of the five most current United States and Europe Solheim Cup teams.
- From the 2017 LPGA Senior Women’s Championship, the 10 lowest scorers and anyone tying for 10th place.
- From the final 2016 and 2017 official Legends Tour Performance points list, the top 30 point leaders and ties.
- Winners of Legends Tour co-sponsored events, excluding team events, whose victories are considered official in the last two calendar years (2016 and 2017) and during the current calendar year to the initiation of the current year’s U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship. Events must be a minimum of 36 holes. (NOTE: The USGA will file blank entries for those players who become exempt after the close of entries).
- Winners of the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship the last two years (2016 and 2017) and the 2017 runner-up; must be an amateur.
- Winners of the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship the last two years (2016 and 2017); must be an amateur.
- Playing members of the two most current United States and GB&I Curtis Cup Teams and the two most current United States Women’s World Amateur Teams; must be an amateur.
- Winners of the 2017 Senior Ladies British Open Amateur and Canadian Women’s Senior Amateur Championships; must be an amateur.
- Special exemptions as selected by the USGA. Must have filed an entry by the close of entries. Deadline for submission of request: May 23, 2018. Players must select a qualifying site at the time of entry.