Beginning on Monday at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wisconsin, is the U.S. Women’s Amateur.
But the top amateur in the world won’t be there. Neither will 19 of the top 25 players and seven of the top ten amateur golfers in the world.
Instead, No. 1 Rose Zhang and four other players in the top 25, which also includes Ingrid Lindblad of Sweden, Caley McGinty of England, Anna Davis of Scotland, and Mizuki Hashimoto of Japan, chose to play in this week’s LPGA major, the AIG Women’s Open, which is being held in Scotland and will end on Sunday for those who make the cut. Since the majority of the other U.S. Women’s Amateur competitors are from Europe, it is likely that Austria’s Emma Spitz, Germany’s Alexandra Forsterling, and Scotland’s Hannah Darling chose to recuperate at home before the incoming semester of college.
However, Zhang will be the one who leaves the greatest gap in the field at Chambers Bay. The Stanford sophomore has won the Women’s Am before, doing it in 2019. She just won the NCAA individual title and the Annika Award as college golf’s player of the year. Additionally, she took first place in the U.S. Girls’ Junior last summer and has twice competed for the United States in the Curtis Cup.
Zhang will make her third major appearance of the year at the Women’s Open. She shared a 65th-place finish (with Davis, the defending Augusta National Women’s Amateur champion) two weeks ago at Evian and tied for 40th at the U.S. Women’s Open.
The No. 3 player in the world according to the U.S. Women’s Amateur rankings is Rachel Heck, Zhang’s colleague. The next three players in the field at Chambers are all from Japan: Tsubasa Kajitani (ranked six), Emilia Migliaccio (ranked nine), and Amari Avery (ranked eleven). Jensen Castle is returning to defend her title. For stroke play, Kajitani and Migliaccio will be paired together.
The Women’s Open last year took place two weeks after the Women’s Am. Prior to the LPGA announcing its 2022 calendar in November of last year, the USGA announced the dates for this week’s championship in May of 2021.