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Furman's Natalie Srinivasan To Begin Play At 2017 U.S. Women's Open On Thursday

BEDMINSTER, N.J. -- Furman's Natalie Srinivasan will begin play at the 72nd U.S. Women's Open on Thursday at the par-72, 6,732 yard Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. 

Practice rounds were held Monday through Wednesday, which will be followed by championships rounds from Thursday through Sunday.  Srinivasan, a rising sophomore from Spartanburg, S.C., will tee off of No. 10 at 2:20 p.m. on Thursday and will go off of No. 1 at 8:35 a.m. on Friday.  She will play in a group with Emma Henrikson of Sweden and Laura Gonzalez Escallon from Belgium.  

The 2017 Southern Conference Freshman of the Year, Srinivasan claimed individual medalist honors at the 2017 SoCon Championships, and was named to the All-SoCon team and to the SoCon All-Freshman Team.  She posted a 73.7 stroke average over 35 rounds this season and fired a 66 in the second round of the Cougar Classic, the best round for the Paladins in 2016-17.  Srinivasan, who carded a 68 in the final round of the NCAA Lubbock Regional to tie for fifth, had four top-10 and six top-20 finishes as a rookie.

Srinivasan becomes the first Paladin golfer to qualify for the U.S. Open since Stefanie Kenoyer competed in the event in 2009.  Betsy King qualified as a Furman student in 1976, and Dottie Pepper competed while at Furman in 1984.  King and Pepper each earned low amateur honors at the tournament.

The ultimate test for the best female golfers in the world, the U.S. Women's Open Championship field is comprised of 156 top professionals and amateurs competing for the most coveted prize in women's golf.  Defending U.S. Women's Open champion Brittany Lang is one of several USGA champions in this year's field, which also includes 2015 champion In Gee Chun, 2014 champion Michelle Wie, and 2011 champion So Yeon Ryu, the top-ranked player in the world. 

The tournament features a 72-hole, stroke-play competition.  The complete field of 156 players will play 18 holes of stroke play on Thursday and Friday, after which the field will be reduced to the low 60 scores and ties. Those players making the cut will play 18 holes on Saturday and Sunday. If there is a tie upon the completion of 72 holes, a three-hole aggregate playoff will immediately follow. If this playoff results in a tie, the tied players will immediately continue to play off hole-by-hole until the winner is determined.

Television coverage of the U.S. Women's Open will be provided by FS 1 from 2-7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and by Fox from 2-7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  Live streaming and live scoring will be available at www.usga.org beginning on Thursday and running through Sunday's final round.  

The first U.S. Women's Open, played at Spokane (Wash.) Country Club in 1946, was the only one conducted at match play.  The Women's Professional Golfers' Association (WPGA) conducted the inaugural championship, which was won by Patty Berg.  The WPGA continued to conduct the Women's Open until 1949, when the newly formed Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) took over the event.  The LPGA ran the Women's Open for four years but in 1953 asked the United States Golf Association (USGA) to conduct the championship, which it has done ever since.

The youngest winner of the U.S. Women's Open is Inbee Park, who won the 2008 championship at the age of 19 years, 11 months, 18 days.  Babe Didrikson Zaharias, who won the 1954 event at age 43 years, 6 months, is the oldest winner.

In 1967, Catherine Lacoste became the only amateur to win the U.S. Women's Open.  Six other amateurs -- most recently Brittany Lange and Morgan Pressel in 2005 -- have finished as runners-up.

Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information