USGA Announces 2006 Championship Schedule


FAR HILLS, N.J. -- The U.S. Open returns to the metropolitan New York area and one of the United States Golf Association's five founding clubs will be hosting the U.S. Women's Open as part of the 2006 competitions schedule that features 13 national championships, along with the biennial Curtis Cup Match and World Amateur Team Championships.
Beginning in June, the USGA visits 13 different states and returns to eight familiar venues, including Newport (R.I.) Country Club, one of the original five founding member clubs of the USGA. The season concludes in late October with the World Amateur Team Championships in South Africa, where more than 60 men's and women's teams are expected to participate.
Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., will kick off the USGA season June 15-18 when it hosts its fifth U.S. Open, but the first at the site in 22 years. Michael Campbell of New Zealand will look to defend his title against a field of the world's best players, including two-time champions Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Tiger Woods.
The Women's Open, set for June 29-July 2, comes to historic Newport Country Club, site of the inaugural U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur in 1895. The club did not host another USGA competition for 100 years until Woods won the second of his three consecutive Amateur titles there in 1995. Birdie Kim of Korea will try to defend the Women's Open title. Last June, she won in dramatic fashion at Cherry Hills Country Club outside Denver, Colo., when she holed out a bunker shot at the 72nd hole to defeat teenage amateurs Brittany Lang and Morgan Pressel by two strokes.
Meanwhile, Kevin Tway of Edmond, Okla., has the opportunity to become just the second golfer to win two U.S. Junior Amateurs. His 18th birthday falls a day after the U.S. Junior at Rancho Santa Fe (Calif.) Golf Club concludes this summer (July 17-22), giving the son of 1986 PGA Championship winner Bob Tway a rare chance to defend in an event that is only open to male players under the age of 18.
The U.S. Girls' Junior, to be held July 17-22 at Carmel Country Club in Charlotte, N.C., will crown a new champion as 2005 winner In-Kyung Kim of Korea will be too old to compete. The competition is open to females who have not yet reached their 18th birthday.
Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., the site of seven previous USGA competitions, hosts the U.S. Senior Open from July 6-9. Allen Doyle is the defending champion. He earned his win in 2005 after a marvelous 63 in the final round at NCR Country Club in Kettering, Ohio.
Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., which has also hosted seven previous USGA events, will have the U.S. Amateur for the first time in its rich history from Aug. 21-27. The club has hosted two Opens, a Senior Open and a Women's Open. Now the world's best amateurs will get an up-close look at the Robert Trent Jones Sr. layout.
Another club returning to the USGA championship scene is Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore., which hosts the Women's Amateur Aug. 7-13. It will be the sixth time the USGA has visited the club, the first coming in 1996 when Woods concluded his three-year Amateur victory run. Pressel, the 2005 champion, has turned professional and thus will not be eligible to defend her title.
Oregon also will be the scene of the Curtis Cup Match between female amateur teams from the USA and Great Britain & Ireland. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort hosts the two-day competition from July 29-30, with the USA looking to win the biennial event for a fifth consecutive time.
Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Ga., has hosted a USGA competition seven times before. The site gets an eighth opportunity Oct. 7-12 when the USGA Senior Women's Amateur, a competition for females 50 and over, will be played there for a record sixth time. Jamaican-born Diane Lang of Weston, Fla., will attempt to defend her title, while 2005 runner-up Carol Semple Thompson will seek a fifth victory.
Both USGA mid-amateur championships are returning to sites that have hosted one previous competition. The U.S. Mid-Amateur, for amateur golfers 25 and older, heads to Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff, Ariz., Sept. 9-14. The club hosted the 1996 Junior. Kevin Marsh of Las Vegas, Nev., returns to try to defend his title. Meanwhile, Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Miss., which hosted the 1999 U.S. Women's Open, welcomes the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur from Oct. 21-26, where Canadian Mary Ann Lapointe is the defending champion.
Three other championships will be contested at first-time USGA venues. The U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship will be played June 20-25 at Walking Stick Golf Course in Pueblo, Colo. Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash., hosts the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship July 10-15.
The USGA Senior Amateur, for golfers 55 and older, goes to Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Ind., Sept. 16-21.
The biennial World Amateur Team Championships for men and women are scheduled for October at De Zalze Golf Club and Stellenbosch Golf Club in Cape Town, South Africa. The 72-hole womens competition will be played Oct. 18-21. The men's 72-hole event will be contested from Oct. 26-29.