2022 U.S. Women’s Open: Preview, how to watch, course details

Yuka Saso hoists the 2021 U.S. Women's Open trophy.
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The 2022 U.S. Women’s Open returns to Pine Needles Resort & Golf Club, located in Southern Pines, N.C., for a record fourth time June 2-5 and features a star-studded field.

Here are a few of the biggest storylines heading into this year’s tournament, including a preview of the field and details on how to watch.

Who’s competing at the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open?

The 156-player field features 78 fully exempt golfers – including 12 past U.S. Women’s Open champions – and 31 amateurs, with players representing 18 U.S. states and 28 countries.

Top headliners for the 77th U.S. Women’s Open include:

The rest of the field is comprised of qualifiers from 26 sites, which conducted 36-hole qualifying from April 19-May 16 at 23 locations in the U.S. and at three international sites (England, Japan and South Korea). The USGA accepted a record total of 1,874 entries for this year’s championship, breaking the previous record of 1,873, set in 2015 for the USWO at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania. This year marked the eighth consecutive time that more than 1,500 entries were accepted for the tournament, with entries for 2022 accepted from golfers in 46 U.S. states and 57 foreign countries.

What to watch for at this year’s U.S. Women’s Open

News outlets began buzzing late last week when the USGA released its pre-tournament press conference schedule and world No. 2 Nelly Korda was listed for 10:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday at Pine Needles. It marks the 23-year-old’s eighth U.S. Women’s Open appearance and just her fourth start this season after having to take time off to deal with her health. Korda, a seven-time LPGA winner and reigning Olympic gold medalist, has made five cuts in seven USWO starts with her best finish being a T-10 in 2018 at Shoal Creek. She missed the cut in 2020 and 2021.

Korda is joined in the field by her sister, Jessica Korda, who are in the event together for the eighth time. Getting in on the sister act are Thailand’s Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn, who will compete together for the eighth consecutive year and ninth overall. The Jutanugarns and Kordas are two of seven sets of sisters to have competed in the same U.S. Women’s Open.

Also in the news last week was 2014 U.S. Women’s Open champion Michelle Wie West, who told Golfweek that she plans to compete at Pine Needles and then step away from the LPGA tour. Next week will mark her 17th appearance in the U.S. Women’s Open, where she’s made nine cuts in 16 starts with top-10 finishes in 2006 (T-3) and 2018 (T-10). Wie West’s last victory came at the 2018 HSBC Women’s World Championship. In 2019, she married Jonnie West, the son of NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West, and the couple welcomed their first child (daughter Makenna) in June 2020. Wie West said only next year’s USWO at Pebble Beach remains on her competitive golf calendar, which also marks the final year of her 10-year exemption as a past champion.

Annika Sorenstam, the only player in the 2022 field to have played all three previous USWO championships at Pine Needles (1996, 2001 and 2007), will make her 16th appearance in the U.S. Women’s Open, where she’s missed just two cuts (1997, 1999) in 15 starts with three wins (1995, 1996, 2007), two runner-up results (2002, 2004) and two other top 10s (T-4 in 2003; T-9, 2000). At age 51, the Swede will look to become the oldest USWO winner ever. The current record is held by Babe Didrikson Zaharias, who won the 1954 Women’s Open at age 43.

RELATED: Annika Sorenstam enjoying the journey ahead of 77th U.S. Women’s Open

Forty-four-year-old Angela Stanford extends her record of active consecutive U.S. Women’s Open appearances to 23 (2000-22), and she also holds the mark for most USWO starts (23) of any player in the field. Stanford finished runner-up in the 2003, falling in a three-way playoff to Hilary Lunke, and has made 14 cuts in 22 USWO starts with five top 10s overall.

This year’s field features 31 amateurs, including six of the top 50, and all of whom look to break a 55-year-old record dating back to 1967, when Catherine Lacoste, daughter of French tennis player Rene Lacoste and 1927 British Ladies Amateur champion Simone Thion de la Chaume, became the only amateur to win the U.S. Women’s Open. Seven other amateurs – most recently Hye-Jin Choi in 2017 – have finished as runner(s)-up.

Along with No. 1-ranked Rose Zhang, look for 2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Jensen Castle, the 21-year-old from West Columbia, S.C., who’s making her second USWO start (missed cut in 2021) and also is one of four players in the field set to compete in the 2022 Curtis Cup matches that begin June 10. Making her USWO debut is 19-year-old Anna Davis, from Spring Valley, Calif., who became the youngest Augusta National Women’s Amateur champion in April. The left-hander has since played in her first two LPGA events, making the cut in both.

2022 U.S. Women’s Open marks record purse in women’s golf

This year’s U.S. Women’s Open features a $10 million purse, up $4.5 million from 2021, with the winner taking home $1.8 million. The champion also will receive the Mickey Wright Medal, custody of the Harton S. Semple Trophy for the ensuing year and an exemption into the next 10 U.S. Women’s Open Championships.

Additionally, the winner will receive a replica of the Semple Trophy and five-year exemptions into the Chevron Championship (formerly ANA Inspiration), AIG Women’s Open, KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and Amundi Evian Championship.

Of note, the USGA has committed to raise the women’s purse to $11 million and then $12 million by 2026. However, it still lags behind the men’s U.S. Open, which featured a $12.5 million purse in 2021 at Torrey Pines, with Jon Rahm earning $2.25 million for his win.

What is the schedule and format for the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open?

The 77th U.S. Women’s Open opened with three practice rounds beginning Monday, May 30, through Wednesday, June 1. Eighteen holes of stroke play are scheduled for each day beginning Thursday, June 2, through Sunday, June 5.

The starting field of 156 golfers will be cut after 36 holes (Friday) to the low 60 scorers and ties. In the event of a tie after 72 holes, a two-hole aggregate playoff will take place following the completion of the fourth round. If the playoff results in a tie, play will immediately continue hole by hole until a champion is determined.

How to watch the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open:

Coverage of the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open will be presented by NBC Sports across NBC, Golf Channel and Peacock beginning Thursday, June 2, through Sunday, June 5, from Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C. Golf Channel will air “Live from the U.S. Women’s Open” featuring live pre- and post-event coverage daily beginning Wednesday, June 1, through Sunday, June 5.

 Day/Date  Time (EDT)  Channel  Coverage
 Thursday, June 2  1-3 p.m.  Peacock  First Round
 Thursday, June 2  3-8 p.m.  USA  First Round
 Friday, June 3  1-3 p.m.  Peacock  Second Round
 Friday, June 3  3-8 p.m.  USA  Second Round
 Saturday, June 4  12-1 p.m.  Peacock  Third Round
 Saturday, June 4  1-3 p.m.  USA  Third Round
 Saturday, June 4  3-6 p.m.  NBC  Third Round
 Sunday, June 5  1-3 p.m.  USA  Final Round
 Sunday, June 5  3-7 p.m.  NBC  Final Round

Where is the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open?

Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club, located in Southern Pines, N.C., will host the U.S. Women’s Open for a record fourth time. The first U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles was held in 1996, won by Annika Sorenstam, followed by Karrie Webb in 2001. Cristie Kerr claimed the 2007 title at Pine Needles, which has has hosted six previous USGA championships, the second-highest total in North Carolina after Pinehurst Resort’s famed Course No. 2.

Stretching 6,638 yards, Pine Needles will play at a par-71 (35-36), with exact yardage for each round varying due to course setup and conditions. The course was designed by Donald Ross and opened in 1928, with golf course architect John Fought overseeing renovations in 2004 that included the restoration of greens and bunkers to their original forms with the aid of vintage aerial photos. In 2017, course architect Kyle Franz managed a project that included green rebuilding and bunker restoration aimed at maximizing hole locations.

Past USGA Championships at Pine Needles Lodge & G.C.:

  • 1989 U.S. Girls’ Junior: Brandie Burton def. Camie Hoshino, 1 up
  • 1991 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur: Phyllis Preuss (221 total) by one stroke over Belle Robertson and Anne Sander (222 total).
  • 1996 U.S. Women’s Open: Annika Sorenstam (8-under 272) won by six strokes over Kris Tschetter (278 total).
  • 2001 U.S. Women’s Open: Karrie Webb (7-under 273) won by eight strokes over Se Ri Pak (1-over 281).
  • 2007 U.S. Women’s Open: Cristie Kerr (5-under 279) won by two strokes over Lorena Ochoa and Angela Park (3-under 281).
  • 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open: Helen Alfredsson (1-over 285) won by two strokes over Juli Inkster and Trish Johnson (3-over 287).

Last year at the 76th U.S. Women’s Open:

The Philippines’ Yuka Saso drained a 12-foot birdie putt on the first hole of sudden death to defeat Japan’s Nasa Hataoka and win the 76th U.S. Women’s Open at The Olympic Club’s Lake Course, in San Francisco, Calif. Saso joined two-time champion Inbee Park as the youngest winner – both were 19 years, 11 months and 17 days old at the time – in event history and became the first Filipino to capture the Harton S. Semple Trophy.

Saso entered the final round one stroke behind 54-hole leader Lexi Thompson, and she rallied to the finish with birdies on Nos. 17 and 18 to post a 2-over 73, finishing at 4-under 280 and forcing a playoff with Hataoka, who finished with a 3-under 68 to grab the clubhouse lead. Thompson, who held a five-stroke lead with 10 holes remaining in regulation, played her final stretch in 5-over par for a final-round 75 and missed the playoff by a shot.

The playoff went to sudden death after Saso and Hataoka each made back-to-back pars in the two-hole aggregate playoff. This year, Saso will attempt to become the eighth player to successfully defend her title. Since 1991, only Annika Sorenstam (1995, 1996) and Karrie Webb (2000, 2001) have accomplished the feat, and both came at Pine Needles. Only four other players have finished top 10 in the championship following their victory (2019 winner Jeongeun Lee6 was sixth in 2020; 2002 champ Juli Inkster finished eighth in 2003; 1992 winner Patty Sheehan was sixth in 1993; and 1991 winner Meg Mallon was fourth in 1992).

ALSO FROM ON HER TURF: Stanford edges Oregon for second NCAA Women’s Golf Championship title

2022 Rivalry Series: USA extends lead to 3-0 over Canada in women’s hockey showcase

Hilary Knight #21 of Team United States reacts after scoring a shorthanded goal in the second period during the Women's Ice Hockey Gold Medal match.
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Hilary Knight had two goals and one assist to lead the U.S. women’s hockey team to a 4-2 win over Canada on Sunday, extending Team USA’s series lead to 3-0 in the seven-game 2022-23 Rivalry Series.

Savannah Harmon and Abby Roque also scored for the U.S., which has notched three consecutive wins against Canada for the first time since 2019. Goalie Nicole Hensley made 22 saves in front of a record-setting crown at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, where fan attendance totaled 14,551.

Marie-Philip Poulin and Sarah Nurse scored for Canada, which captured gold \at both the IIHF Women’s World Championship in September and the Beijing Olympics in February.

Knight has enjoyed a standout 2022-23 Rivalry Series to date, registering six points (three goals, three assists) in the first three games including the game-winning goal in a shootout victory in Game 1 of the series on Tuesday and the game-winning assist in Game 2 on Thursday. Prior to the puck drop in Seattle on Sunday, Knight was presented with a golden stick to commemorate her record-breaking 87th career point in world championship play. Knight became the all-time points leader at the IIHF Women’s World Championship in September, when the eight-time world champion recorded one goal and one assist in Team USA’s 12-1 quarterfinal win over Hungary.

Sunday’s matchup between the U.S. and Canada marked the third game of the 2022-23 Rivalry Series and was the third matchup between the two teams in five days. The U.S. came in with a 2-0 series lead following a 2-1 victory on Thursday in Kamloops, B.C., and a 4-3 shootout victory — the first shootout in Rivalry Series history — in Kelowna, B.C., on Tuesday. It also was the first game for the U.S. national team on home soil since Dec. 17, 2021, when the team hosted Canada in St. Louis (Canada won 3-2 in overtime).

The 2022-23 Rivalry Series continues next month with two games in the U.S., set to be played in Las Vegas on Dec. 17 and Los Angeles on Dec. 19.

2022-23 Rivalry Series schedule, results

Tuesday, Nov. 15 USA 4, CAN 3 (SO) Kelowna, British Columbia NHL Network
Thursday, Nov. 17 USA 2, CAN 1 Kamloops, British Columbia NHL Network
Sunday, Nov. 20 USA 4, CAN 2 Seattle, Washington NHL Network
Thursday, Dec. 15 10 p.m. ET Henderson, Nevada NHL Network
Monday, Dec. 19 10 p.m. ET Los Angeles, California NHL Network

What is the Rivalry Series?

The Rivalry Series was introduced by USA Hockey and Hockey Canada during the 2018-19 season and designed as an annual showcase of the highest level of women’s hockey at various locations in the United States and Canada. The first series comprised three games between the two national teams, with Canada winning 2-1. Team USA took 2019-20 title, winning the expanded five-game series 4-1 and wrapping with an overtime win in the finale in front of a then-record-breaking total of 13,320 fans in Anaheim, California.

Following a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic and preparation for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, the Rivalry Series resumed this season with seven games over three months: three in November, two in December and two in February.

The U.S. and Canada have battled in the gold-medal game of six of seven Winter Olympics and 20 of 21 IIHF Women’s World Championship, with the two exceptions being the 2019 World Championship and 2006 Olympics. The Canadian women are the reigning Olympic and world champions.

2022-23 Rivalry Series rewind: USA takes Games 1-2

Game 1 recap: USA 4, CAN 3, SO (Nov. 15): The series kicked off Tuesday with Team USA grabbing a 2-0 lead off goals from Hannah Brandt and Hilary Knight. But Canada battled back with three unanswered goals and held a 3-2 lead with 13 minutes to go in the third. With just 1:29 remaining in regulation, Alex Carpenter tied it for the Americans, sending the game to overtime. The U.S. ultimately won in a shootout, with Knight and Carpenter scoring while U.S. goalie Nicole Hensley made two key saves.

Game 2 recap: USA 2, CAN 1 (Nov. 17): Canada was first to get on the board Thursday when Marie-Philip Poulin capitalized off a penalty shot opportunity in the second period, but USA’s Kendall Coyne Schofield knotted the score just 1:12 later. Alex Carpenter scored the go-ahead tally with 6:36 remaining in the third to give the U.S. a 2-1 win and a 2-0 series lead. U.S. goalie Maddie Rooney recorded 19 saves in net.

Who’s playing in the 2022-23 Rivalry Series?

Team USA’s roster — led by coach John Wroblewski — for the November Rivalry Series games features 23 players, 16 of whom were part of the silver medal-winning team at the 2022 IIHF Women’s World Championship in August:

  • Hannah Brandt (Vadnais Heights, Minn.)
  • Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.)
  • Kendall Coyne Schofield (Palos Heights, Ill.)
  • Jincy Dunne (O’Fallon, Mo.)
  • Aerin Frankel(Chappaqua, N.Y.)
  • Rory Guilday (Minnetonka, Minn.)
  • Savannah Harmon (Downers Grove, Ill.)
  • Nicole Hensley (Lakewood, Colo.)
  • Megan Keller (Farmington Hills, Mich.)
  • Amanda Kessel (Madison, Wis.)
  • Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho)
  • Kelly Pannek (Plymouth, Minn.)
  • Abby Roque (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.)
  • Hayley Scamurra (Getzville, N.Y.)
  • Maddie Rooney (Andover, Minn.)
  • Lee Stecklein (Roseville, Minn.).

Team Canada’s 23-player roster, selected by coach Troy Ryan and director of hockey operations Gina Kingsbury, features 16 players who were on the gold medal-winning team at the 2022 IIHF Women’s World Championship and the 2022 Beijing Olympics (Canada beat , including:

  • Erin Ambrose
  • Kristen Campbell
  • Emily Clark
  • Ann-Renée Desbiens
  • Renata Fast
  • Brianne Jenner
  • Jocelyne Larocque
  • Emma Maltais
  • Emerance Maschmeyer
  • Sarah Nurse
  • Marie-Philip Poulin
  • Jamie Lee Rattray
  • Ella Shelton
  • Laura Stacey
  • Blayre Turnbull
  • Micah Zandee-Hart

Rivalry Series history

Following Sunday’s victory, the U.S. holds a 6-2-1-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record over Canada all time in the Rivalry Series. Canada won the 2018-19 Rivalry Series with a 2-0-0-1 record, while the U.S. won the 2019-20 Rivalry Series with a 3-1-1-0 record.

2019-20 Rivalry Series results

Dec. 14, 2019 USA 4, CAN 1 Hartford, Connecticut Alex Cavallini
Dec. 17, 2019 USA 2, CAN 1 Moncton, N.B. Alex Carpenter
Feb. 3, 2020 CAN 3, USA 2 (OT) Victoria, B.C. Hilary Knight
Feb. 5, 2020 USA 3, CAN 1 Vancouver, B.C. Katie Burt
Feb. 8, 2020 USA 4, CAN 3 (OT) Anaheim, California Megan Bozek

2018-19 Rivalry Series results

Feb. 12 USA 1, CAN 0 London, Ontario
Feb. 14 CAN 4, USA 3 Toronto, Ontario
Feb. 17 CAN 2, USA 0 Detroit Michigan

Atthaya Thitikul takes LPGA rookie-of-year honors in stride ahead of Tour Championship

Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand smiles after the birdie on the 6th green during the second round of the TOTO Japan Classic.
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To say that Atthaya Thitikul has enjoyed a breakout rookie LPGA season is a bit of an understatement, but keeping things low-key is exactly how 19-year-old “Jeeno” likes it.

As the 2022 season concludes this week at the CME Group Tour Championship, Thitikul has already captured two LPGA titles, held the No. 1 spot in the world rankings and collected the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year honors. But the current world No. 2 displays a wise-beyond-her-years ethos when she says what she’s most proud of this season is her mindset.

“[I’m]19 years old — I think I’m still young to handle all the things that I have now,” Thitikul told On Her Turf ahead of this week’s season finale in Naples, Fla. “I didn’t say that I handled it well, but I’ve just said that I think I can handle it. I can do it. And yeah, it’s turned out to be pretty good this year.”

To keep herself in check, the Thailand native keeps her philosophy posted on her Instagram profile, which reads, “Be you, be happy and everything will be fine.” Thitikul, who on Oct. 31 joined 18-time LPGA winner Lydia Ko as the only players in tour history to reach No. 1 before their 20th birthday, said she took stock of poor performances on the golf course and found they all had one thing in common: She wasn’t being herself.

“I didn’t have fun,” she says of those unsatisfactory rounds. “I was expecting a lot of results on the golf course, not really talking, not really enjoying it. So I think being myself, have fun, keep smiling, keep laughing and talking with other players or talking with my caddie, joking around — I think it’s the best that I can do.”

Golf has always been fun for Thitikul, who grew up in northeast Thailand and was introduced to the sport at age 6 through her father and grandfather, both of whom were not golfers themselves but recognized the opportunity that golf might provide. Thitikul teases that her grandfather was enamored with Tiger Woods, but after her first golf experience with a professional in Bangkok, she was hooked, too.

“They asked me when I finished practicing, do I like it? And I say, ‘Yeah, I do.’ Because [there were] a lot of friends and when I practice, it seemed fun and it seemed not like other sports that I have been watching on TV,” she recalls.

Thitikul’s ascent to the top of her sport was swift: In February 2017, just three days after her 14th birthday, she made her first LPGA tournament appearance at the Honda LPGA Thailand and finished 37th out of 66 players. Just five months later, Thitikul made headlines when she became the youngest person ever to win a professional golf tour event at age 14 years, 4 months and 19 days old, winning the Ladies European Thailand Championship on the Ladies European Tour (LET).

RELATED: 2022 CME Group Tour Championship — How to watch, who’s playing in LPGA’s season finale

For three more years, Thitikul resisted turning professional, racking up multiple international amateur victories and plenty of tour experience, notching her first LPGA top-10 finish in March 2018 at the HSBC Women’s World Championship (T-8) and earning low amateur honors that same year at two majors, the ANA Inspiration (T-30) and Women’s British Open (T-64). The following year, she won the Ladies European Thailand Championship for the second time in three years, earned low amateur honors at the British Open (finishing T-29) for the second straight year and was No. 1 on the women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.

In her first year as a pro, during the pandemic-impacted 2020 season, Thitikul broke through for her first professional win in July at the Thai LPGA Championship. She finished the season with five Thai LPGA wins and topped the money list.

Thitikul moved to the LET in 2021, winning the Czech Ladies Open in June, and just a month later she moved into the top 100 on the world rankings for the first time at No. 89. She finished 2021 with two wins, three runner-ups and nine additional top-10 finishes, securing the LET Order of Merit and Rookie of the Year titles and becoming just the fourth player to win both awards in the same season.

After finishing third at LPGA Qualifying School to earn her card for 2022, Thitikul didn’t miss a beat in her meteoric rise this season. She posted two top-10s in her first four starts before striking a staff deal with Callaway, which she followed up by winning her first LPGA title in March at the JTBC Classic. She carded an 8-under 64 in the final round to force a playoff and Nanna Koerstz Madsen on the second extra hole. She earned her second LPGA title in September at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, tying the tournament record of 61 in the second round and beating Danielle Kang in a playoff.

As for the pressure of being a teen phenom, Thitikul admits she can’t ignore it but has figured out how to turn it around to her advantage: “It’s still so hard because I think as players want to be on top and we put the pressure on ourselves, and there’s a lot of eyes on us. … But at the same time, it’s kind of like you couldn’t win every week, you couldn’t have a good day every day. It’s golf. I like to think of pressure as a challenge. I put a lot of pressure on myself, but I think of it as challenging.”

Away from the golf course, Thitikul enjoys spending time with friends, watching Korean television dramas and indulging in Asian food (Chinese and Korean are favorites). Although she doesn’t have a pet, she says she’s a dog person, and prefers the mountains to the beach, as she loves to hike.

But don’t expect too much lounging, hiking or other non-golf activities on Thitikul’s itinerary after this season wraps on Sunday.

“This offseason, we have a lot of work to do,” she says.” There are a lot of things I still have to learn – not just for next year but for [beyond.] … But hopefully next year, it’s going to be nice and good for me as well. I really want to have a major win in my career. I don’t know if it’s going to happen next year, but hopefully.”