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Young at heart King returns

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At 55 years old, what motivated Hall of Famer Betsy King to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open this year?

What inspired her to grind her way through the 36-hole sectional qualifier in Mesa, Ariz., this week and play her way to Broadmoor Golf Club?

“I don’t know, really,” King told “I’ve been playing the Legends events, and I just thought it would be good practice.”

King, winner of 34 LPGA titles, six majors, will be playing her first U.S. Women’s Open since 2004. She’s a two-time U.S. Women’s Open winner, having claimed titles in 1989 and ’90.

“This is kind of a bonus, a gift,” King said. “I will be playing with no expectations. It will be fun to go out and play without feeling like I have to play well.”

King, one of 72 players who made it through sectional qualifying, will be the oldest player in the field. The youngest player will be Mariel Galdiano of Pearl City, Hawaii, who made it through the Hawaiian qualifier at 12 years, 11 months and 3 days old. That makes her the third youngest to qualify behind Alexis Thompson (12-4-18) and Morgan Pressel (12-11).

King played in the U.S. Women’s Open at Broadmoor when Annika Sorenstam won there in 1995.

“I don’t really remember much from it,” King said.

King tied for third that year.