HARTFORD, Conn. – Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield will be hosting another USGA major championship, the third U.S. Senior Women’s Open on July 9-12, 2020.
“To have Brooklawn Country Club host our newest championship is truly special for the USGA family and will continue to build the strong momentum we have created for the U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director, championships. “The support we have received from the golf community surrounding the U.S. Senior Women’s Open has been extraordinary. We are excited to celebrate the unique camaraderie and competition of this championship as we bring it to Connecticut.”
The 2020 U.S. Senior Women’s Open will be the third USGA Open championship and fifth overall USGA championship hosted by Brooklawn CC. The club, founded in 1895, hosted the 1974 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, won by David Nevatt; the 1979 U.S. Women’s Open, won by Jerilyn Britz; the 1987 U.S. Senior Open, won by Gary Player; and the 2003 U.S. Girls’ Junior, won by 16-year-old Sukjin-Lee Wuesthoff.
“Brooklawn Country Club is obviously a very special place for me, as it is the home of my major victory title,” Britz said. “After playing in the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open last year, I know how special this championship has become in its short history. Blending this championship with this golf course is an absolute joy for me, and I can’t wait to see how the championship unfolds!”
The 18-hole layout the club was designed in 1930 by A.W. Tillinghast, one of the game’s premier golf course architects who redesigned and expanded the original nine-hole layout. Over the years, and under the guidance of Ron Forse, who specializes in Tillinghast restorations, the club has made updates to maintain the integrity of what Tillinghast built.
“Brooklawn is thrilled to continue our long-standing relationship with the USGA,” said Rick Ryan, general chair of the third U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship. “We can’t think of a better way to celebrate our club’s 125th anniversary than hosting this significant USGA championship.”
The most recent of the 13 previous USGA championships contested in Connecticut is the 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior at Hartford Golf Club in West Hartford, when Lexi Thompson became the second-youngest champion at age 13.
The U.S. Senior Women’s Open is open to professional females, and amateur females with a Handicap Index not exceeding 7.4, who have reached their 50th birthday as of the first day of the championship. The field will include 120 players, who will earn entry into the championship via sectional qualifying at sites nationwide or through an exemption category.
The format will continue to be a walking-only, 72-hole stroke play competition over four days with a 36-hole cut to the top 50 players, including ties. Laura Davies won the inaugural championship in 2018 at Chicago Golf Club. The 2019 championship is May 16-19 at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C.
The year 2020 will be exceptionally special in Connecticut golf, as that’s when the PGA of America will have its annual meeting in Hartford in October. That’s because Suzy Whaley of Farmington will be ending her two-year tenure as PGA president. She became the PGA’s first female officer in 2014 when she was elected secretary. Whaley, 51, would obviously love to play in the U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship, as she did this year.
In 2003, Whaley became the first woman in 58 years to qualify for a PGA Tour event when she qualified for the 2003 Greater Hartford Open (now Travelers Championship) by winning the 2002 Connecticut Section PGA Championship. She was also the first woman to win a PGA individual professional tournament and is currently recognized by Golf for Women as a top 50 female instructor and is a Board Member and Advisor for numerous organizations, including Golfer Girl Magazine. She is an LPGA Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP) member who played on the LPGA Tour in 1993.