The 78th U.S. Women’s Open Golf Championship is this week with 58 ANNIKA alumnae competing at Pebble Beach Golf Links, California. Annika has also committed to play in the championship, and most recently played in the 77th U.S. Women’s Open last year. She claimed three U.S. Women’s Open titles in 1995, 1996 and 2006.
Among the 58 ANNIKA alumnae competing are LPGA stars like Yuka Saso, Nelly Korda, Lilia Vu, and Ruoning Yin. Saso, the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open Champion, tied the record for the youngest winner of the championship at 19 years, 11 months, and 17 days, with Inbee Park. Ranked No. 2 ranked in WAGR is Nelly Korda who will also be in the mix this week. Nelly took a month off from competing because of a lower back injury before returning to the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Ranked No. 4 in WAGR, Lilia Vu is coming off her first major win at the 2023 Chevron Championship, the year’s first major championship. Ruoning Yin, ranked No. 5, most recently won the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship to become the second women’s major championship winner from China. Other notable top ranked LPGA players are No. 10 Leona Maguire (2015 & 2017 ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel winner), No. 14 Celine Boutier (2011 Hilton Grand Vacations ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex Champion), No. 18 Ayaka Furue and No. 21 Danielle Kang.
In addition, 11 past ANNIKA champions will be represented in the field. Australian Grace Kim (2018 ANNIKA Invitational Australasia) looks to keep the momentum going after coming off her first professional win on the LPGA Tour at the LOTTE Championship. Rose Zhang, recipient of the 2022 and 2023 ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel, won her second consecutive NCAA Individual title in May. She followed it up by claiming her first LPGA Tour victory at the Mizuho Americas Open in her pro debut and will be a favorite this week. Major champion Patty Tavatanakit won the individual title at the 2018 ANNIKA Intercollegiate after breaking the course record at Royal Golf Club with a 63 in the final round. Another ANNIKA Intercollegiate champion Maria Fassi will join Tavatanakit in the field. The former Razorback became the first player to win the ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M back-to-back in 2016 and 2017, and the first to win the ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel consecutively in 2018 and 2019. Sweden’s Beatrice Wallin will also tee it up at Pebble Beach. Wallin won the ANNIKA Invitational Europe in 2016 and then went on to win the European Ladies’ Team Championship in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Finally, UCLA’s Alison Lee was the HGV ANNIKA Invitational champion in 2012 and later went on to be the first ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel winner. She will be joined by former UCLA teammate and past ANNIKA Award winner Bronte Law. Other past Invitational winners in the field are Charlotte Thomas, Jaravee Boonchant, and Angel Yin.
Of the 27 amateurs competing this week, there are 18 past ANNIKA players. Coming off her second-place finish at the Toyota Junior World Cup this month, No. 4 ranked amateur Anna Davis has some momentum to build off going into the week. No. 10 ranked amateur Amari Avery had an incredible season at USC, including a third-place finish at the Pac-12 Women’s Championship. This will be her second U.S. Women’s Open appearance. Other notable amateurs are Emilia Migliaccio of Wake Forest who helped her team claim the 2023 NCAA Women’s Golf National Championship title. 2022 HGV ANNIKA Invitational champion, Yana Wilson just came off her win at the Mizuho Americas Open AJGA event and will be in the field this week along with 2020 HGV ANNIKA Invitational winner, Benedetta Moresco. Other past ANNIKA amatuers are Zoe Campos, Monet Chun, Celeste Dao, Aine Donegan, Sarah Edwards, Sadie Englemann, Ting-Hsuan Huang, Lauren Kim, Sophie Linder, Minori Nagano, Megan Propeck, Grace Summerhays, and Angela Zhang.
Other ANNIKA players in the field this week are Aditi Ashok, Marissa Chow, Allisen Corpuz, Gemma Dryburgh, Linn Grant, Alice Hewson, Megan Khang, Cheyenne Knight, Aline Krauter, Andrea Lee, Ruixin Liu, Gaby Lopez, Nanna Madsen, Brooke Matthews, Annie Park, Gabriela Ruffels, Madelene Sagstrom, Emma Spitz, Maja Stark, Bailey Tardy, Therese Warner, and Dewi Weber.