10:37 a.m. CT – Jeongeun Lee6, Gabriela Ruffels, Hinako Shibuno
Defending U.S. Women’s Open champion Jeongeun Lee6 is at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas, this week, aiming to keep her crown for another year. Lee6 earned her maiden LPGA Tour title at the Country Club of Charleston as a rookie and now leads this featured group. They will head off the 10th tee of the Cypress Creek Course on Thursday and then off the first tee of the Jackrabbit Course on Friday.<>One of 24 amateurs in the field for the 75th U.S. Women’s Open is Australian Gabriela Ruffels. A senior at the University of Southern California, Ruffels has competed in four LPGA Tour events this season — the AIG Women’s Open, the ANA Inspiration, the Cambia Portland Classic and the Pelican Women’s Championship — as well as the Epson Tour Championship. This is the second straight appearance in the U.S. Women’s Open championship for the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, after missing the cut in 2019.
Rounding out the trio is 2019 AIG Women’s Open winner and media darling Hinako Shibuno. In September, the Japanese star made her competitive debut on American soil at the ANA Inspiration and tied for 51st, one of six starts on the LPGA Tour so far in 2020. Although this will be her first U.S. Women’s Open, it marks the fourth major championship this year for Shibuno, with her best finish coming at the ANA Inspiration.
10:37 a.m. CT – Danielle Kang, Anna Nordqvist, Jin Young Ko
Danielle Kang, Rolex Rankings No. 4 and a two-time LPGA Tour champion in 2020, is set to make her first start since the LPGA Drive On Championship – Reynolds Lake Oconee in October. She’ll lead this featured grouping off Cypress Creek No. 1 on Thursday in search of her third win this season. Kang captured a career-best result of fourth at the U.S. Women’s Open in 2018.
In her last two events played (KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and Volunteers of America Classic), Anna Nordqvist secured top-10 performances and has not missed a cut in 12 starts this year. A two-time major champion, Nordqvist was runner-up in the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open at CordeValle. She’ll look to continue the momentum of a strong 2020 season this week in the Lone Star State.
Last but not least in this threesome is Rolex Rankings No. 1 Jin Young Ko. She made her 2020 LPGA Tour debut at the Pelican Women’s Championship presented by DEX Imaging and Konica Minolta and is coming off a solo fifth result at the Volunteers of America Classic. This is the fourth U.S. Women’s Open appearance for Ko and she has never finished outside of the top-20.
10:59 a.m. CT – Inbee Park, Ariya Jutanugarn, So Yeon Ryu
This trio off No. 10 of the Jackrabbit course on Thursday holds a combined four U.S. Women’s Open titles. Inbee Park captured the Harton Semple Trophy in 2008 and 2013 and is the only individual in the 156-player field with multiple wins at this championship. Across 11 starts in 2020, Park has secured seven top-10s, including runner-up results in her last two events and her 20th LPGA Tour title at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open in February.
Ariya Jutanugarn won the U.S. Women’s Open in 2018 and followed that title with a tie for 26th last year. Her first USGA championship came in 2011 when she captured the U.S. Girls’ Junior crown. For the sixth consecutive year and seventh overall, Jutanugarn is joined by her sister Moriya in the U.S. Women’s Open field.
Finally, So Yeon Ryu has established herself as a consistent threat to win the U.S. Women’s Open year in and year out. In 10 starts in the championship, she has six top five results and not finished outside the top-25, a run that included her first major title in 2011 at The Broadmoor. This week marks Ryu’s second event back since the LPGA Tour restart following the coronavirus hiatus.
11:10 a.m. CT – Ally Ewing, Mel Reid, Madelene Sagstrom
Three Rolex First-Time Winners in 2020, one U.S. Women’s Open grouping. This trio is bound to showcase the depth of talent on the LPGA Tour when they head off the No. 1 tee of the Jackrabbit course for the first round. Having recently changed to her married name, Ally Ewing (formerly McDonald) is less than two months removed from her victory at the LPGA Drive On Championship—Reynolds Lake Oconee. She finished in a tie for 10th at this championship in 2019.
Mel Reid captured her maiden LPGA Tour victory at ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer in October. A member of Team GB&I at the 2006 Curtis Cup, Reid has made one cut (2012 – T50) in four U.S. Women’s Open starts. The three-time member of Team Europe in the Solheim Cup has competed in 14 events this year with five top-15s.
The inaugural Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio champion Madelene Sagstrom completes this featured grouping. It will be the first appearance at the U.S. Women’s Open for the Louisiana State University alumna since 2018, when she earned a career-best finish by tying for 17th. Sagstrom made the trek down IH-30 after finishing 10th last week in Irving for the Volunteers of America Classic.