RUMSON, N.J. - Former Tar Heel golfer Catherine O'Donnell qualified for this year's U.S. Women's Open by finishing atop the leaderboard at the sectional qualifier here on Wednesday. This earned her a spot in the U.S. Women's Open to be played June 19-22 at Pinehurst No. 2.
O'Donnell fired a 2-under-par 69 in the morning round followed by a 4-over 75 in the afternoon on the par-71, 6,501-yard layout at Rumson Country Club. In the morning round, after playing the front nine at 1-over, O'Donnell fired a 3-under on the back nine with three birdies (holes 13, 14, 16) and the rest pars. Her 2-over 144 total was three strokes ahead of runner-up Laura Davies, who carded a 5-over 147 total after rounds of 72-75. O'Donnell and Davies won the two spots from the Rumson qualifier and will play in next month's U.S. Open.
"I got my putter rolling, that and my wrist injury has healed," said O'Donnell, who played for the Tar Heels 2009-12. "I had a practice round here on Tuesday and I loved the course. I loved the greens. I could see the lines and I was comfortable off the tee. And I like tougher courses with longer par fours."
O'Donnell, from Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., was a four-time All-ACC performer and an All-America performer at Carolina. She won three collegiate tournaments and won a 2013 SunCoast Ladies Tour event. This is her second year playing on the Symetra Tour.
About playing in the U.S. Women's Open, O'Donnell said, "I'm excited about the U.S. Open. I've played Pinehurst No. 2 probably 30 times - I know it well and can't wait to play it again."