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Cristie Kerr accepts special exemption into U.S. Women's Open

May 10, 2021
Cristie Kerr

Chris Keane

Despite a marvelous career of 20 wins on the LPGA Tour, Cristie Kerr hadn’t qualified for this year’s U.S. Women’s Open because she’s fallen to No. 100 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. It meant Kerr could see her consecutive-appearances streak of playing in the major end at 23 years.

The USGA didn’t let that happen, however, and announced on Monday that the 43-year-old Kerr accepted a special exemption to play in the 76th U.S. Women’s Open that will be contested June 3-6 at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.

“Winning the U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles [in 2007] was a career- and life-changing moment,” Kerr said in a USGA release. “I’m grateful to everyone at the USGA for this special exemption and the opportunity to continue to play in what I consider our sport’s greatest championship. I can’t wait to arrive at The Olympic Club and tee it up in my 26th U.S. Women’s Open.”

Kerr has eight top-10 finishes in the Women’s Open—her most recent coming in 2016 at Corde Valle in Northern California, where she tied for eighth.

A two-time major winner—she won the LPGA Championship in 2010—Kerr’s last LPGA victory came in 2017, when she won twice. The 2021 season has thus far been a struggle. Kerr has missed the cut in her last two starts and her best finish is a T-28 at the ANA Inspiration, where she rallied with a final-round 65. She currently ranks 86th in the LPGA’s season-long points race.