Morgan qualifies for US Women's Open
ROCKVILLE, MD – UNC Greensboro alumnus Becky Morgan will be among the 156 competitors at the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open later this month when play begins at Pine Needles.
Morgan qualified for the Championship with a two-round total 145 at the Rockville Sectional, which was played on the Woodmont Country Club and Old South Country Club courses. A full member of the LPGA tour since 2001, Morgan secured one of the final spots at the Rockville qualifier to earn a place in the field that will begin play June 28 in Southern Pines, NC. Practice rounds will be played June 25 through 27.
Another Spartan alumnus, Jenny Gleason, did not qualify at her sectional in Glen Ellyn, IL.
Morgan, who graduated from UNCG in 1997 with a degree in Geography, has played in 13 LPGA Tour events this season and 143 in her career. She has made the cut in 11 of them and recorded four Top 15 finishes. A native of Wales, Morgan’s best finish this season came back on May 13 when she finished seventh at the Michelob Ultra Open, earning her the 16th Top 10 finish of her career. She has recorded 16 sub-par rounds this year and ranks 23rd on the tour in birdies this season with 119. Earlier this year, she topped the $1.5 million mark in career earnings.
During her UNCG career, Morgan won 10 collegiate tournaments, including three Big South titles (1995, 1996 and 1997). She was a three-time All-American selection and finished tenth at the NCAA Championship in the 1997 season. She still holds the school records for best 18-hole score (67 at the 1995 NCAA East Regional), 36-hole tournament total (140) and 54-hole tournament (217 at the 1995 NCAA East Regional). To put her 10 collegiate wins in perspective, since September 1994, UNCG golfers have won 23 individual titles and Morgan claimed 10 of those.
Morgan was also an outstanding student, earning Big South Scholar-Athlete honors three times and being named a CoSIDA Academic All-American in 1997.
The first Women’s Open was conducted in 1946 by the Women’s Professional Golfers Association in Spokane, WA as a match-play event. In 1950, the LPGA assumed the leadership of the tournament after it was founded. In 1953, the LPGA turned the reigns over to the USGA and the U.S. Women’s Open Championship was born.
In its 57-year history, the U.S. Women's Open has reigned as the world's greatest women's championship, attracting steadily increasing numbers of entries and spectators.Whereas only 37 contestants played in 1953, in 1976 the field jumped to 205 players and sectional qualifying was introduced. In 2001, a record 980 contestants entered. The following year, qualifying for the Women's Open was held in two stages for the first time - 18 holes for local qualifying and 36 holes for sectional qualifying - just as is done for the men’s championship.
In recent years, the U.S. Women's Open has truly become the world arena of women's golf. Eight of the last 15 champions have been foreign-born, whereas only four of the first 40 champions were foreign-born. The emergence of the Women's Open as a great international contest came in 1987, when England's Laura Davies prevailed in an 18-hole playoff against Japan's Ayako Okamoto and JoAnne Gunderson Carner of the United States.
The Pine Needles course has been owned by Peggy Kirk Bell, one of the founding members of the LPGA, and her family for over 50 years. The course is one-half of a duo that the Bell Family oversees, having also purchased Mid Pines, which has played host to a UNCG men’s collegiate tournament for several years. It is the third time that the Pine Needles course will play host to the USGA event, previously hosting it in 1996 and 2001. It is a Donald Ross design at 6,664 yards with par set at 71.
Tickets are still available for the event on-line at www.2007uswomensopen.com or by calling 877-325-4653. Advances tickets are available for $20 for practice rounds and $35 for championship rounds. On the day of the event, practice round tickets are $25 and championship round tickets are $40.
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