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U.S. Senior Women's Open
The U.S. Senior Women's Open is one of fourteen U.S. national golf championships organized by the United States Golf Association. The newest USGA championship, it is open to women whose 50th birthday falls on or before the first day of competition and hold a handicap index not exceeding 7.4. The inaugural championship was held in 2018 at the Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Illinois.
The field for the tournament is 120 players, and is filled with professionals and amateurs with exemptions and sectional qualifying status. The tournament is 72 holes of stroke play, with the top 50 and ties making the 36-hole cut.
The following players are exempt from qualifying for the U.S. Senior Women's Open, provided they are 50 years old as of the opening day of the tournament. In addition, senior amateur categories require that the player is still an amateur on the opening day of the tournament (the rule applies equally to former U.S. Women's Amateur champions who have turned 50). For the first three editions of the tournament (2018-2020), golfers eligible in categories that require golfers to be 50 to 52 will be automatically eligible regardless of age provided they are 50 or older.
- Winners of the U.S. Women's Open from the last 10 years, if between ages 50 and 59.
- From the most recent U.S. Women's Open, any player returning a 72-hole score.
- Finalist in the U.S. Women's Amateur from the previous year.
- Winners of the U.S. Women's Amateur:
- Those who have turned professional will have a one-year exemption.
- Those who have remained an amateur will have a five-year exemption.
- Winners of the women's majors - ANA Inspiration, Ricoh Women's British Open, KPMG Women's PGA Championship, and Evian Championship (see note) - from the last 10 years, and from the Canadian Women's Open from 1979 to 2000, between 50 and 52 years of age (first three years eligible).
- From 2018 until 2022, Evian Championship winners will be eligible from 2013, when the LPGA designated it as a major. Starting in 2023, the ten-year rule will be in effect.
- Finalists of the previous U.S. Senior Women's Amateur.
- The winner of the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur in the last two years.
- Winner of the past two U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur events.
- Members of either Curtis Cup team from the two more recent tournaments.
- Members of the two most recent U.S. Women's World Amateur Teams (Espirito Santo Trophy).
- Playing members of the five most recent Solheim Cup teams.
- Top 30 players from the previous year's final official Legends Tour money list, provided they are 50 years of age.
- Note that Legends Tour eligibility starts at 45 years of age, which means that not all Legends Tour players are eligible for the U.S. Senior Women's Open. A golfer who is 49 but will turn 50 by the end of the entry list will have a blank entry filed by the USGA.
- Top 10 money leaders of all-time Legends Tour earnings, through the entry deadline. Players must select a qualifying site at the time of entry.
- A player who is 49 years of age at the entry deadline, turns 50 before the first scheduled round of the championship, and is in the top 10 all-time Legends Tour money list may also file under this exemption.
- Top 15 money leaders on the current Legends Tour money list.
- Winners of Legends Tour co-sponsored events, excluding team events, whose victories are considered official, in the last two calendar years and during the current calendar year to the initiation of the current year's U.S. Senior Women's Open. Events must be a minimum of 36 holes.
- Top 75 LPGA Tour money leaders all-time.
- Winners who are 50 to 52 years of age who have won the British Ladies Amateur.
- Winners of the LPGA Touring and Club Professional Championship in the past five years.
- The second-place finisher in the most recent edition of this event is also eligible.
- Winners of LPGA Tour co-sponsored events, whose victories are considered official, in the last five calendar years and during the current calendar year to the initiation of the U.S. Senior Women's Open.
- Top five money leaders from the previous year's final official Ladies European Tour and LPGA of Japan Tour career money lists.
- Winners of the most current Senior Ladies' British Open Amateur and Canadian Senior Women's Amateur championships.
- Special exemptions selected by the USGA.
Categories in effect beginning in 2019
- Winners of the U.S. Senior Women's Open who have not yet reached their 66th birthdays on or before the final day of the championship or in the past ten years.
- The 66th birthday rule does not apply if the player has won within the last ten years.
- The top 20 (and ties) from the previous year's U.S. Senior Women's Open.
- The low amateur from the previous year's U.S. Senior Women's Open.