Sports / Golf

Nanshan to host international qualifier for US women's open

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-03-07 08:22

In recognition of the global growth of women's golf, the 2014 US Women's Open will offer unprecedented qualifying events in China, Japan, South Korea and England.

International qualifiers take place on May 19 at Nanshan International Training Center in China, Higashi Nagoya Country Club in Japan, Woo Jeong Hills Country Club in South Korea and Buckinghamshire Golf Club in England.

The Nanshan course in Longkou, Shandong province, hosted last year's Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, whose winner qualified for next month's Masters.

"This will definitely promote the development of women's golf in China," said Zhang Xiaoning, vice- president and secretary-general of the China Golf Association.

Buckinghamshire is the site of the home office of the Ladies European Tour.

Two-time defending champion Park In-bee of South Korea is among 14 players from outside the US who have won 18 US Women's Open titles, including seven of the past nine and 13 of the past 19.

"With the addition of international qualifying competitions, we are happy to expand the championship field to include more of the very best players from across the globe," USGA president Tom O'Toole said.

The USGA also lowered the amateur handicap limit for the Open from 4.4 to 2.4, the first change since 1972.

The 69th US Women's Open will be staged June 19-22 at Pinehurst, one week after the North Carolina course hosts the US Open men's event.

South Koreans have won five of the past six US Women's Open crowns.

- Agence France-Presse

(China Daily 03/07/2014 page24)

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