ne of the most storied clubs in Texas will have to wait a little
longer to host the 75th U.S. Women’s Open. Originally scheduled for early June
at Champions Golf Club in Houston, the championship was moved to Dec. 10-13 amid
the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
remains committed to hosting the U.S. Women’s Open in 2020,” USGA CEO Mike
Davis said in early April. “Our priority remains ensuring the safety of all
involved with the U.S. Women’s Open, while still providing the world’s best
players the opportunity to compete this year.”
Postponing the ultimate test in women’s golf by six months wasn’t
the only change. Because of reduced daylight hours late in the year, the USGA
decided to use both golf courses at Champions. For the first two rounds of the
72-hole championship, the world’s best female professionals and amateurs will compete
on the Cypress Creek and Jackrabbit courses. The final rounds will be held on
Golf Club is excited to partner with the USGA to host the 75th U.S. Women’s
Open in December,” said Robin Burke, Vice President of Champions. “This is the
most important championship in women's golf, and it’s fitting to be the last
event of the year and held in the south, where golf is played year-round. We
are fortunate to have two great golf courses that can accommodate play and a
membership that’s excited and appreciates the importance of crowning a Champion
When the highly anticipated event tees off in December, it will be
only the second time the women’s national championship has been held in Texas.
The first was nearly 30 years ago, when Meg Mallon won the 1991 U.S. Women’s
Open at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth.
“We’re thrilled to be able to celebrate such a milestone moment
for the U.S. Women’s Open in a state that has played host to so many special
USGA memories,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA Senior Managing Director of
Championships. “This will be the 31st USGA championship held in the Lone Star
State, which has always been such a great supporter of golf. The U.S. Women’s
Open has always been a leader in the game, and to celebrate an anniversary as
substantial as the 75th playing is something we’re incredibly proud of.”
Champions has a long and storied history of hosting major
championships. The 75th U.S. Women’s Open, for example, will be the fifth USGA
championship contested on the Cypress Creek course. Founded in 1957 by World
Golf Hall of Fame members Jimmy Demaret and Jack Burke Jr., who currently
serves as the club’s President, Champions hosted its first in 1969, when
Orville Moody posted a 72-hole total of 1-over-par 281 to win the U.S. Open.
The other USGA championships held at Champions include the 1993 U.S. Amateur,
won by John Harris, and the 1998 and 2017 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, won by
Virginia Grimes and Kelsey Chugg, respectively.
“My dad was the pro at River Oaks Country Club in Houston, and he
tried to bring a real passion and knowledge for the game down here from his
hometown of Philadelphia,” Jackie Burke said. “When Jimmy Demaret and I founded
Champions, it was our mission to continue to expand the game in Houston. We
lost Jimmy, but our efforts helped to bring the foremost amateur and
professional championships to Texas. It's important for all of us, the community,
and Houston to keep the game going.”
Burke and Demaret hired fellow Houstonian Ralph Plummer to design
the Cypress Creek course, which opened for play in 1959. The club’s second
course, Jackrabbit, was designed by George Fazio in 1964 and was renovated in
2002 by Tom Fazio, George’s nephew. The Cypress Creek course also underwent a
major renovation in 2018. Noted architect Chet Williams oversaw an 8-month,
multimillion-dollar project which included reshaping and regrassing all greens,
reconstruction of all bunkers, installation of new irrigation and drainage
systems, select tree removal to improve air circulation and the addition of
five new back tee boxes.
Over the years, Champions has more than lived up to its name and
ideals. In addition to the USGA championships, the club has been the site of numerous
high-profile events including the 1967 Ryder Cup, five PGA Tour Championships,
the Houston Champions International (now the Houston Open) between 1966-71, the
Southern Amateur in 1973 and 1980, as well as the annual Champions Cup
Invitational, a prestigious four-ball stroke play competition that attracts the
country's best amateur golfers.
The 2020 U.S. Women’s Open will put Champions in the company of
Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina as the only courses to host a Ryder Cup, a
U.S. Open, a U.S. Women’s Open and a U.S. Amateur. Because this year’s
championship is being played in Houston, one of the best sports cities in the
United States, it just might elevate Champions to a league of its own.
“Golf fans in Houston are in for a treat,” said John Coppins,
Championship Manager. “The U.S. Women’s Open provides a unique opportunity to
watch major championship golf in an affordable and accessible way. Juniors can
attend this family friendly event free of charge, and viewing opportunities
provide great access to see the best players in the world compete for a
national championship. It’s a can’t-miss event for sporting fans in the area,
and we’re excited to showcase what a USGA Open championship has to offer.”
Robin Burke is in complete agreement.
“Together with the USGA, our goal is to create energy the very
second the players land in Houston,” said Burke, who has played in three U.S.
Women’s Opens during her distinguished amateur career. “We are excited to have
the best players in the world come to Texas, and we are committed to giving
them a warm welcome and a great test of golf. Houston loves its sports, and
there is no doubt the players will love Houston.”
Entries for the U.S. Women’s Open are open to female professional
golfers and female amateur golfers with a WHS Index not exceeding 2.4. The starting
field will include 156 players, who will earn entry into the championship via
sectional qualifying at sites nationwide or through an exemption category.
Defending champion Jeongeun Lee, of the Republic of Korea, is
among the winners of the last 10 U.S. Women’s Opens who are guaranteed a spot
in the starting field. Additionally, the top 75 points leaders in the Rolex
Ranking as of a pre-determined date set by the USGA also will earn an exemption
into the 2020 championship.
The format is 72-hole stroke play over four consecutive days with
a 36-hole cut to the top 60 players, including ties. In the event of a tie for
the Championship, a two-hole playoff will be held immediately following play.
The winner will be the player with the lowest aggregate score for the play-off
The next chapter in Champions’ illustrious history will be written
this December. The milestone 75th year of the U.S. Women’s Open is sure to be
an exceptional experience for players and spectators alike.
more information and to purchase tickets, click here.