Debby Murphy of Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster booked her spot in the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open after earning medalist honors at the sectional qualifier at Northampton Country Club.
Murphy shared the low round of the day with Therese-Marie Torti of Canada with a 5-over 77, which was good enough to grab one of three qualifying spots in a field of 22.
The 2016 Junior Player Development Award winner received texts from members and her staff at Trump Bedminster as she prepares for the inaugural event.
“They’re very excited about it," Murphy said.
Murphy, who played alongside one of her former college teammates,
Jane Sirmons, began her round with four straight bogeys, but finished with a 1-under 35 on the back nine to move atop the leaderboard.
“I was very nervous," Murphy said of her start. "I hit it well, but I missed all my short par putts on the first four holes. The greens were definitely difficult. They were small and the hole locations definitely weren’t easy."
Murphy carried her bag during the 18-hole qualifier on a day where the weather exceeded 90 degrees. She said that she has already received requests from people offering to caddie for her when she makes the trip to Chicago Golf Club.
"I don't know what to do about having a caddie," Murphy joked.
Murphy last competed in a USGA Championship in 1981 and 1982 during the U.S. Women's Amateur. She competed in other national events in the past, including the LPGA National Championship, where she finished fifth in 2004.
The inaugural U.S. Women’s Open will be played at Chicago Golf Club July 12-15. This will be the 12th USGA Championship hosted by the Chicago Golf Club and its first since the 2005 Walker Cup.
To date, 39 individuals have qualified for the U.S. Senior Women’s Open at 12 sectional qualifiers, including PGA of America Vice President Suzy Whaley.
Northampton Country Club, a par 72, played to 5950 yards.