Thompson Wie among Open hopefuls


HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. – Alexis Thompson of Coral Springs, Fla., is just 14, but she will be looking to win her third trip to the U.S. Women’s Open in sectional qualifying Monday.
At eight sites around the country, 402 women are vying for 84 spots into the U.S. Women’s Open July 9-12 at Saucon Valley Country Club’s Old Course in Bethlehem, Pa. Sectional play actually began Thursday with the first at Carolina Trace in Sanford, N.C.
Thompson, who became the youngest player ever to make it to the championship when she was 12, will be competing with 24 others for four spots at Plantation Bay Golf & Country Club in Ormond Beach, Fla. Madison Pressel, the 17-year-old sister of two-time LPGA winner Morgan Pressel, will also be there. So will Isabelle Lendl, 17, daughter of tennis great Ivan Lendl.
The largest sectional fields are at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md., and Westmoreland and Indian Hill country clubs in Wilmette, Ill. Michelle Wie, Natalie Gulbis, eight-time USGA champion Carol Semple Thompson and the “Big Break: Prince Edward Island’s” Blair O’Neal are among 111 players vying for 30 spots in Rockville, Md. Reigning U.S. Women’s Amateur champ Amanda Blumenherst, who just turned pro, will be among 112 players vying for 24 spots in Wilmette, Ill.
Liselotte Neumann, the 1988 U.S. Women’s Open champion, will try to make it through the Neshanic Valley qualifier at Neshanic Station, N.J.