The 75th U.S. Women’s Open gets underway Thursday at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas, and it will certainly be a memorable one. The championship is not only celebrating its diamond jubilee, but it also marks the finale of golf’s major championships in 2020, as well as the first time the longest running major in the women’s game will be staged in December.
In what is also a first in Championship history, the USGA will utilize two courses for the first two rounds in an effort to battle limited daylight. On Thursday and Friday, the field will go off both the first and 10th tees on the Cypress Creek and Jackrabbit courses. The first groups will tee off at 9:20 a.m. CST, with the last groups teeing off at 11:32 a.m. Only the Cypress Creek Course will be played on the weekend. Sunset is expected around 5:20 p.m. in Houston.
The USGA is creative in crafting its championship tee times, often finding themes among the players it chooses to play together. The 2020 U.S. Women’s Open is no different. Here’s a look at some of the featured groups to keep an eye on:
Jeongeun Lee6, Gabriela Ruffels, Hinako Shibuno
Thursday – Cypress Creek Course, No. 10, 10:37 a.m. / Friday – Jackrabbit Course, No. 1, 10:37 a.m.
In 2020, defending champion Lee6 has largely played on the KLPGA in her native Korea due to COVID-19. While she’s making just her fifth start of the season on the LPGA, she’ll look to build off the success she found playing at home, where she notched five top-10s so far this season. In her three prior starts at the U.S. Women’s Open, Lee6 has never finished outside the top 20. She’ll begin her title defense alongside Ruffels and Shibuno. Ruffels, the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, nearly made history with back-to-back victories, but she lost to 2020 champion Rose Zhang. Ruffels is making her second U.S. Women’s Open appearance this week. Shibuno is making her U.S. Women’s Open debut in Houston, but the JLPGA star is certainly undaunted by firsts. Nicknamed “Smiling Cinderella”, Shibuno won in her first ever major championship start at the 2019 AIG Women’s Open. She arrives in Houston on form after back-to-back top-5s on the JLPGA.
Lexi Thompson, Nelly Korda, Heejeong Lim
Thursday – Cypress Creek Course, No. 1, 10:59 a.m. / Friday – Jackrabbit Course, No. 10, 10:59 a.m.
As the LPGA winds into the penultimate event of the season, Thompson arrives in Houston looking to keep her winning streak alive. Thompson, an 11-time winner on the LPGA Tour, has won every year since 2013 but remains in search of a victory in 2020. She’ll be looking to build on the success she’s found in recent years at the U.S. Women’s Open, where she finished a career-best T-2 in 2019 at the Country Club of Charleston. This week, Thompson is making a remarkable 14th consecutive appearance at the U.S. Women’s Open, where she made history in her debut when at age 12 she became the youngest ever to qualify in 2007. At No. 3 in the Rolex Rankings, Korda is the top-ranked American in the field. This week, she is making her first start since withdrawing from the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in October due to a back injury. She has four top-10s in 2020, including a runner-up finish at the ANA Inspiration where she lost in a playoff to champion Mirim Lee. Just a second-year member on the KLPGA, Lim is making her U.S. Women’s Open debut in Houston. She was a three-time winner in her rookie season on the KLPGA.
Bianca Pagdanganan, Anne van Dam, Maria Fassi
Thursday – Jackrabbit Course, No. 10, 11:10 a.m. / Friday – Cypress Creek Course, No. 1, 11:10 a.m.
The three longest hitters on the LPGA are grouped together for the opening rounds in Houston. LPGA rookie Pagdanganan leads the tour in driving distance with an average of 284.7 yards. Van Dam sits at No. 2 with an average of 281.8. Fassi rounds out the top 3 with an average of 280.4. These long hitters will look to tackle the Jackrabbit Course on Thursday, the shorter of the two tracks, which will play 6,558 yards at a par 71. They’ll face the Cypress Creek Course on Friday, which will be set up at 6,731 yards and also play to a par 71. But they’ll need not only to rely on their distance but also accuracy to hoist the trophy on Sunday. In the last 15 years, winners of the U.S. Women’s Open have hit 75 percent of fairways en route to victory.
Here are the complete tee times and groupings:
Thursday – CC, No. 1 / Friday – JR, No. 10
- 9:20 a.m. / 9:20 a.m. – Angela Stanford, Saginaw, Texas; Jodi Ewart Shadoff, England; Nicole Broch Larsen, Denmark
- 9:31 a.m. / 9:31 a.m. – (a) Pauline Roussin-Bouchard, France; Christina Kim, San Jose, Calif.; Meghan MacLaren, England
- 9:42 a.m. / 9:42 a.m. – Jaye Marie Green, Jupiter, Fla.; Jing Yan, People's Republic of China; (a) Benedetta Moresco, Italy
- 9:53 a.m. / 9:53 a.m. – Katherine Kirk, Australia; Azahara Munoz, Spain; Minami Katsu, Japan
- 10:04 a.m. / 10:04 a.m. – Sarah Schmelzel, Phoenix, Ariz.; Emily Kristine Pedersen, Denmark; (a) Caterina Don, Italy
- 10:15 a.m. / 10:15 a.m. – Ashleigh Buhai, South Africa; Xiyu Lin, People's Republic of China; Su Oh, Australia
- 10:26 a.m. / 10:26 a.m. – Ayaka Furue, Japan; Angel Yin, Arcadia, Calif.; Mamiko Higa, Japan
- 10:37 a.m. / 10:37 a.m. – Danielle Kang, Las Vegas, Nev.; Anna Nordqvist, Sweden; Jin Young Ko, Republic of Korea
- 10:48 a.m. / 10:48 a.m. – Sophia Popov, Germany; Mi Jung Hur, Republic of Korea; Carlota Ciganda, Spain
- 10:59 a.m. / 10:59 a.m. – Lexi Thompson, Delray Beach, Fla.; Nelly Korda, Sarasota, Fla.; Heejeong Lim, Republic of Korea
- 11:10 a.m. / 11:10 a.m. – Gaby Lopez, Mexico; Jasmine Suwannapura, Thailand; Narin An, Republic of Korea
- 11:21 a.m. / 11:21 a.m. – Alena Sharp, Canada; Ji Yeong Kim2, Republic of Korea; (a) Ingrid Lindblad, Sweden
- 11:32 a.m. / 11:32 a.m. – Yuka Saso, Philippines; (a) Allisen Corpuz, Kapolei, Hawaii; Heeyoung Park, Los Angeles, Calif.
Thursday – CC, No. 10 / Friday – JR, No. 1
- 9:20 a.m. / 9:20 a.m. – Cheyenne Knight, Aledo, Texas; (a) Agathe Laisne, France; Minyoung2 Lee, Republic of Korea
- 9:31 a.m. / 9:31 a.m. – Pajaree Anannarukarn, Thailand; Perrine Delacour, France; Kelly Tan, Malaysia
- 9:42 a.m. / 9:42 a.m. – Brittany Lang, McKinney, Texas; Pernilla Lindberg, Sweden; Esther Henseleit, Germany
- 9:53 a.m. / 9:53 a.m. – Sarah Jane Smith, Australia; Jeongeun Lee, Republic of Korea; (a) Linn Grant, Sweden
- 10:04 a.m. / 10:04 a.m. – Kana Mikashima, Japan; (a) Amelia Garvey, New Zealand; Kim Kaufman, Clark, S.D.
- 10:15 a.m. / 10:15 a.m. – Yealimi Noh, Concord, Calif.; Jenny Shin, Republic of Korea; (a) Lei Ye, People's Republic of China
- 10:26 a.m. / 10:26 a.m. – Amy Olson, Fargo, N.D.; Jennifer Song, Orlando, Fla.; Morgan Pressel, Boca Raton, Fla.
- 10:37 a.m. / 10:37 a.m. – Jeongeun Lee6, Republic of Korea; (a) Gabriela Ruffels, Australia; Hinako Shibuno, Japan
- 10:48 a.m. / 10:48 a.m. – Stacy Lewis, The Woodlands, Texas; Seon Woo Bae, Republic of Korea; Hannah Green, Australia
- 10:59 a.m. / 10:59 a.m. – Jessica Korda, Jupiter, Fla.; Amy Yang, Republic of Korea; Georgia Hall, England
- 11:10 a.m. / 11:10 a.m. – Lala Anai, Japan; Maria Fernanda Torres, Puerto Rico; Ryann O'Toole, San Clemente, Calif.
- 11:21 a.m. / 11:21 a.m. – Yu Jin Sung, Republic of Korea; (a) Lucie Malchirand, France; Ana Belac, Slovenia
- 11:32 a.m. / 11:32 a.m. – (a) Emily Toy, England; Andrea Lee, Hermosa Beach, Calif.; Seung Yeon Lee, Republic of Korea
Thursday – JR, No. 1 / Friday – CC, No. 10
- 9:20 a.m. / 9:20 a.m. – Kristen Gillman, Austin, Texas; Bronte Law, England; Yu Liu, People's Republic of China
- 9:31 a.m. / 9:31 a.m. – (a) Olivia Mehaffey, Northern Ireland; Lindsey Weaver, Celina, Texas; Annie Park, Levittown, N.Y.
- 9:42 a.m. / 9:42 a.m. – Lauren Stephenson, Lexington, S.C.; (a) Auston Kim, St. Augustine, Fla.; Cydney Clanton, Concord, N.C.
- 9:53 a.m. / 9:53 a.m. – Mi Hyang Lee, Republic of Korea; Nanna Koerstz Madsen, Denmark; Momoko Ueda, Japan
- 10:04 a.m. / 10:04 a.m. – Patty Tavatanakit, Thailand; Fatima Fernandez Cano, Spain; (a) Alessia Nobilio, Italy
- 10:15 a.m. / 10:15 a.m. – Megan Khang, Rockland, Mass.; (a) Emilia Migliaccio, Cary, N.C.; Eun-Hee Ji, Republic of Korea
- 10:26 a.m. / 10:26 a.m. – Brittany Lincicome, Seminole, Fla.; Cristie Kerr, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Gerina Piller, Roswell, N.M.
- 10:37 a.m. / 10:37 a.m. – Charley Hull, England; Minjee Lee, Australia; Hae Ran Ryu, Republic of Korea
- 10:48 a.m. / 10:48 a.m. – Sung Hyun Park, Republic of Korea; Austin Ernst, Seneca, S.C.; Mirim Lee, Republic of Korea
- 10:59 a.m. / 10:59 a.m. – Jennifer Kupcho, Westminster, Colo.; In Gee Chun, Republic of Korea; Moriya Jutanugarn, Thailand
- 11:10 a.m. / 11:10 a.m. – Ally Ewing, Fulton, Miss.; Mel Reid, England; Madelene Sagstrom, Sweden
- 11:21 a.m. / 11:21 a.m. – Nuria Iturrioz, Spain; Sayaka Takahashi, Japan; (a) Ina Kim-Schaad, New York, N.Y.
- 11:32 a.m. / 11:32 a.m. – (a) Emma Spitz, Austria; Christine Wolf, Austria; Frida Kinhult, Sweden
Thursday – JR , No. 10 / Friday – CC, No. 1
- 9:20 a.m. / 9:20 a.m. – (a) Kaitlyn Papp, Austin, Texas; Marianne Skarpnord, Norway; Pornanong Phatlum, Thailand
- 9:31 a.m. / 9:31 a.m. – Caroline Masson, Germany; Mone Inami, Japan; Yuna Nishimura, Japan
- 9:42 a.m. / 9:42 a.m. – Linnea Strom, Sweden; Janie Jackson, Huntsville, Ala.; (a) Lily May Humphreys, England
- 9:53 a.m. / 9:53 a.m. – Chella Choi, Republic of Korea; Caroline Hedwall, Sweden; Mina Harigae, Monterey, Calif.
- 10:04 a.m. / 10:04 a.m. – Sakura Koiwai, Japan; Mi-Jeong Jeon, Republic of Korea; Teresa Lu, Chinese Taipei
- 10:15 a.m. / 10:15 a.m. – (a) Maja Stark, Sweden; Eri Okayama, Japan; Asuka Kashiwabara, Japan
- 10:26 a.m. / 10:26 a.m. – Nasa Hataoka, Japan; (a) Rose Zhang, Irvine, Calif.; Celine Boutier, France
- 10:37 a.m. / 10:37 a.m. – Brooke Henderson, Canada; Hyejin Choi, Republic of Korea; Lizette Salas, Azusa, Calif.
- 10:48 a.m. / 10:48 a.m. – Lydia Ko, New Zealand; Sei Young Kim, Republic of Korea; Brittany Altomare, Shrewsbury, Mass.
- 10:59 a.m. / 10:59 a.m. – Inbee Park, Republic of Korea; Ariya Jutanugarn, Thailand; So Yeon Ryu, Republic of Korea
- 11:10 a.m. / 11:10 a.m. – Bianca Pagdanganan, Philippines; Anne van Dam, Netherlands; Maria Fassi, Mexico
- 11:21 a.m. / 11:21 a.m. – Yui Kawamoto, Japan; (a) Ho-Yu An, Chinese Taipei; A Lim Kim, Republic of Korea
- 11:32 a.m. / 11:32 a.m. – Erika Hara, Japan; Saki Asai, Japan; (a) Beatrice Wallin, Sweden