Amanda Blumenherst, a senior at Duke, won an automatic spot in the Kraft Nabisco field as the reigning U.S. Womens Amateur champion. Despite being the low amateur last year (T30), she declined this year's invitation in order to save the six tournament exemptions allowed each year for non-members of the LPGA.
Gabe Codding, business manager for the Kraft Nabisco Championship, also announced that invitations have been extended to Tiffany Joh, Azahara Munoz, Candace Schepperle and Alexis Thompson.
Joh, a senior at UCLA, won her second U.S. Womens Amateur Publinks title last summer, only the second to win the title twice in the 32-year history of the tournament. She was also the 2008 Pac-10 Player of the Year and played on the victorious U.S. Curtis Cup team.
Munoz, a native of Malaga, Spain, and a senior at Arizona St., was runner-up at the 2008 U.S. Womens Amateur. She was also the NCAA individual champion in 2008, winning the title in a playoff against Joh.
Schepperle, a 20-year-old junior at Auburn, won the Harder Hall Invitational last month and followed that win with the Dixie Amateur title, beating Thompson by a stroke.
Thompson, turns 14 on Feb. 10. The Coral Springs, Fla., resident is the reigning U.S. Girls Junior champion. She qualified for the U.S. Womens Open in consecutive years, first playing in 2007 as a 12-year-old, the youngest player in history to qualify for the event.