The Women's U.S. Open at Pinehurst will have at least some familiar local faces as 2012 Wake Forest graduate Cheyenne Woods put together two rounds of 73 and 68 to ensure qualification for the event June 19-22. Woods, the niece of well-known golfer Tiger Woods, was an All-American at Wake Forest and currently plays on the Symetra Tour. She recorded the first win of her professional career earlier this season in Europe and currently ranks 50th on the Symetra Tour, a mini-tour a level below the LPGA tour.
Woods will be accompanied by rising junior Sierra Sims, who finished in a T41st this season in the ACC Tournament. Sims, had a stroke average of 75.28 on the season and made it into the U.S. Open field as an alternate when a currently exempt player had to back out. Additionally, current volunteer coach Laura Diaz is the first alternate at the Open and has a solid shot of making the field as there is generally at least one scratch in the weeks leading up to the tournament.
The U.S. Open will be played at Pinehurst, North Carolina, the week following the men's Open. Pinehurst No. 2 has hosted the men's U.S. Open before in both 1999 and 2004 as well as the 2008 U.S. Amateur, American golf's top amateur event. The Donald Ross design boasts a series of difficult tabletop greens and the course will almost certainly feature dense rough punishing even slightly errant tee shots down the narrow fairways.
For Woods, it will be her second appearance in the Women's U.S. Open, the first occurring just two years ago in 2012. For Sims, it will be her first U.S. Open and she will almost certainly seek out Woods' advice on how to cure the initial jitters of appearing in her first major tournament. On the other hand, Diaz brings a wealth of experience to the tournament, having recorded a top ten finish at some point in her career at each installment of the women's majors. Her best appearance was a 2nd place finish in 2001 at the LPGA Championship.
If you get the chance, it is well worth it to make it over to Pinehurst for an afternoon and watch current and former Deacs take place in the event, but also to see the beautiful course. Good luck in a few weeks ladies and go Deacs!