UNCG alumna Jenny Gleason qualifies for U.S. Women's Open
OSPREY, Fla. - UNC Greensboro alumna Jenny Gleason carded identical rounds of even-par 72 earlier this week to qualify for the 2010 U.S. Women's Open Championship.
Playing in a sectional qualifier at The Oaks Club, the Clearwater, Fla., native finished tied for third in the sectional on Monday to earn a spot in the open for the second time in her professional career. Gleason also qualified for the Open in 2004 at The Orchards in South Hadley, Mass. She failed to make the cut that year after rounds of 76 and 74.
In Monday's sectional, Gleason played her opening round with even-par 36 on both sides of the course. She had three birdies and three bogeys in her first loop. She gave herself some breathing room early in her second round, carding birdies at Nos. 4 and 6 to go to two-under. She finished the front side in 35 and played the back in 37 to close out the day. A total of 76 players began play at the Osprey Sectional, with only five spots allocated to that location.
Entries are open to professional and amateur female golfers. Amateurs must have an up-to-date United States Golf Association (USGA) Handicap Index not exceeding 4.4 under the USGA Handicap System.
The Open field will consist of 156 players for the first two rounds, being cut to 60 plus ties and anyone within 10 shots of the lead. Prior to the qualifying events, 68 golfers were fully exempt with six more spots reserved for players who win an LPGA event prior to the start of the Open. The remaining 82 positions are filled via the 20 sectional qualifying slots.
A member of the Duramed Futures Tour with two career wins, the 29-year-old Gleason played part-time on the LPGA Tour from 2005-2008. At UNCG, she earned All-SoCon honors four times (2000-2003). Following her senior season at UNCG, she qualified for the 2003 U.S. Public Links Championship and the 2003 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship. She also played in the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship in 1999.
Gleason has played in six events on the Duramed Futures Tour this season, making the cut three times and recording one top-10 finish.
This year's Open, the 65th edition, will be played July 8-11 at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa. ESPN2 will provide live coverage of the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday, July 8 and 9, with NBC taking over the coverage for the final two rounds Saturday and Sunday, July 10 and 11.
The USGA conducts 13 national championships annually, including the U.S. Women's Open, U.S. Open, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women's Amateur. The U.S. Women's Open was added to the USGA's roster of championships in 1953, 58 years after the first U.S. Women's Amateur, and is the oldest championship open to female golfers of both professional and amateur status.
In its 64-year history, the U.S. Women's Open has reigned as the world's greatest women's championship, attracting a steadily increasing number of entries. Only 37 contestants played in 1953, but the field increased to 205 players in 1976 when sectional qualifying was introduced. In 2001, a record 980 contestants entered and in 2005, that record was surpassed with 1,158 entries. Local qualifying was introduced in 2002.
More than 125,000 spectators attend the event annually. Eun-Hee Ji won the event last year at Bethlehem, Pa.'s Saucon Valley Country Club.
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