United States Women's Amateur Golf Championship

The U.S. Women's Amateur is the leading golf tournament in the United States for female amateur golfers. It is played annually and is one of the 13 United States national golf championships organized by the United States Golf Association (USGA). Female amateurs from all nations are eligible to compete and there are no age restrictions. It was established in 1895, one month after the men's U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open. It is the third oldest USGA championship, over a half century older than the U.S. Women's Open Championship, which was first played in 1946. Along with the British Ladies Amateur Golf Championship, the U.S. Women's Amateur is considered the highest honor in women's amateur golf.

Robert Cox Cup

Since 1896 the Robert Cox Cup has been awarded annually by the USGA to the winner. The trophy was donated by Robert Cox of Edinburgh, Scotland, a member of the British Parliament and a golf course designer. It remains the oldest surviving trophy awarded for a USGA championship. Along with a gold medal, a replica of the two-foot high silver case of Etruscan design is given to the tournament winner. The original trophy is on permanent display at the USGA Museum and Library. The Robert Cox Cup is the only USGA trophy donated by someone from another country.

The first tournament attracted a field of 13 and was played over 18 holes. Several thousand women now enter the event, and the USGA conducts sectional qualifying to reduce the number of contestants to a more manageable number. The main tournament opens with two rounds of stroke play. The leading 64 players then compete in a match play competition. The matches are played over 18 holes except for the final, which is played over 36 holes.

In 1956, Ann Gregory became the first African-American to compete in the Championship, held that year at the Meridian Hills Country Club in Indianapolis, Indiana.

While there are no age restrictions on entry, players must have a handicap index of 5.4 or less. Morgan Pressel qualified as a 13-year-old in 2001 and won in 2005 at the age of 17. Seven of the 2005 quarterfinalists were teenagers, the youngest of them 15, and the other quarterfinalist was only 21. The 2006 winner Kimberly Kim was only 14 years old, breaking the record previously held by Laura Baugh. In 2007, Pearl Jin and Alexis Thompson became the first 12 year-olds to qualify and the first to advance to match play. Jin and Thompson faced one another in the third round match play. Thompson beat Jin, but then lost in the quarterfinals.

Because the tournament is dominated by teenagers and college-age players who are working toward careers as tournament professionals, the USGA introduced a separate tournament in 1987 for players age 25 and over, called the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur. It gives older amateur players an opportunity to compete among themselves for a national title; entrants must have a handicap index of 9.4 or less.

The USGA rates Glenna Collett Vare as the most noteworthy champion who won the Robert Cox Cup a record six times. Several U.S. Women's Amateur champions who have gone on to become leading professionals including Patty Berg, Babe Zaharias, Louise Suggs and Beth Daniel.

Winners

Multiple winners

Seventeen players have won more than one U.S. Women's Amateur Championship, through 2008:
* 6 wins: Glenna Collett-Vare
* 5 wins: JoAnne Gunderson Carner
* 3 wins: Beatrix Hoyt, Margaret Curtis, Dorothy Campbell, Alexa Stirling, Virginia Van Wie, Anne Quast, Juli Inkster
* 2 wins: Genevieve Hecker, Katherine Harley, Betty Jameson, Barbara McIntire, Beth Daniel, Kay Cockerill, Vicki Goetze, Kelli Kuehne

Seven players have won both the U.S. Women's Amateur and Open Championships, through 2008:
* Patty Berg: 1938 Amateur; 1946 Open
* Betty Jameson: 1939, 1940 Amateurs; 1947 Open
* Babe Zaharias: 1946 Amateur; 1948, 1950, 1954 Opens
* Louise Suggs: 1947 Amateur; 1949, 1952 Opens
* Catherine Lacoste: 1967 Amateur; 1969 Open
* JoAnne Gunderson Carner: 1957, 1960, 1962, 1966, 1968 Amateurs; 1971, 1976 Opens
* Juli Inkster: 1980, 1981, 1982 Amateurs; 1999, 2002 Opens

Eleven players have won both the U.S. Women's and British Ladies Amateur Championships, through 2008:
* Dorothy Campbell:^ 1909, 1910, 1924 U.S.; 1909, 1911 British
* Gladys Ravenscroft: 1913 U.S.; 1912 British
* Pamela Barton:^ 1936 U.S.; 1936, 1939 British
* Babe Zaharias: 1946 U.S.; 1947 British
* Louise Suggs: 1947 U.S.; 1948 British
* Marlene Stewart Streit: 1956 U.S.; 1953 British
* Barbara McIntire: 1959, 1964 U.S.; 1960 British
* Catherine Lacoste:^ 1969 U.S.; 1969 British
* Carol Semple Thompson: 1973 U.S.; 1974 British
* Anne Quast: 1958, 1961, 1963 U.S.; 1980 British
* Kelli Kuehne:^ 1996 U.S.; 1996 British

^ Won both in same year.

Notes

External links

* [http://www.uswamateur.org/ Official site]
* [http://www.sportsnetwork.com/default.asp?c=sportsnetwork&page=golf-u/uswa/2005/records.htm Complete records at Sportsnetwork]


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