Exemptions based on official 2020 Epson Tour money list
LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. (Nov. 9, 2020) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced that five additional players have earned entry into the 75th U.S. Women’s Open Championship, which will be hosted by Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas, on Dec. 10-13, 2020.
As previously announced, the 156-player field for the championship will be entirely composed of exempt players due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The five competitors earned exemptions based on the official 2020 Epson Tour money list as of the season-closing Tour Championship, which concluded Friday.
The top five money leaders are: Ana Belac, of Slovenia; Fatima Fernandez Cano, of Spain; Kim Kaufman, of Clark, S.D.; Frida Kinhult, of Sweden; and Janie Jackson, of Huntsville, Ala.
Belac, a rookie on the Epson Tour, graduated earlier this year from Duke University, where she earned Golfweek & WGCA First Team All-America honors and was an Annika Award finalist. Since making her professional debut in July, she has competed in nine Epson Tour events, making the cut in each event and earning four top 10s, including a victory in the Carolina Golf Classic. She earned Epson Tour Player of the Year honors. This will be her first U.S. Women’s Open appearance.
Fernandez Cano, who just wrapped up her third year on the Epson Tour, will play in her second U.S. Women’s Open. She earned her first Epson Tour win in August at the IOA Championship in Beaumont, Calif.
Kaufman, a graduate of Texas Tech University, will compete in her fifth U.S. Women’s Open, with her best finish a tie for 32nd in 2016. The six-year LPGA Tour veteran quickly made her presence known on the “Road to the LPGA” in 2020 with two top 10s in the first three tournaments. Kaufman missed only two cuts in 10 starts with a total of six top-20 performances. She captured her third career Epson Tour title at the Four Winds Invitational in September. Kaufman has made 157 career starts on the LPGA Tour with 12 top-10 finishes.
“I am so looking forward to competing in the U.S. Women’s Open in my [now] home state of Texas in December,” said Kaufman. “It will be good to be home.”
A Epson Tour rookie, Kinhult will make her U.S. Women’s Open debut. She became a first-time winner at the Epson Tour Championship. She earned four top-15 finishes in eight starts and missed just one cut on the season. Kinhult made her professional debut at the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic in March.
During her year and a half at Florida State University, Kinhult was a three-time winner. As a freshman in 2019, she set the Seminoles’ single-season scoring average record of 70.66, was a WGCA First Team All-American, shared ACC Player of the Year honors with Jennifer Kupcho (who is now an LPGA Tour member) and was named both ACC and WGCA Freshman of the Year.
Jackson will compete in the U.S. Women’s Open for the first time since 2014, when she missed the cut as an amateur. A University of Alabama alumna, Jackson led the Epson Tour in average driving distance (288.2 yards) this season. She was a three-time Alabama High School Class 6A individual title winner for Huntsville High School. She won the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic in March.
With the addition of these five players, the field now sits at 116 players. The rest of the field of 156 will be announced later this week.