Japan's Shimura Medals, Minnesotan Weiss Qualifies for U.S. Senior Women's Open

June 5, 2024 | 4 min.
By Nick Hunter

   EDINA, Minn. – Japan’s Kaori Shimura carded a 5-over 77 Wednesday at Edina Country Club to earn medalist honors, while Minnesotan Karen Weiss posted a 78 to claim the two qualifying spots for the 2024 U.S. Senior Women’s Open.

Both Shimura and Weiss will make their fourth appearance at the national championship, set to be played August 1-4 at Fox Chapel Golf Club in Pittsburgh.

“I love USGA championships, and to have a month to get my game into form is great. I’ve got some time to work on my wedges and putting—the things you need to do,” Weiss said after qualifying Wednesday. “I’m going to try and find a little more comfort in my ball-striking, but mostly short game and putting—you’ve got to grind through rounds at a U.S. Open.

“I hope that I can bring a reasonably good version of my game. It’s not going to be perfect, but if I can make some good swings, it’ll be fun regardless of what happens."

Getting off to a shaky start with bogeys at the first and second, Weiss settled into her round with six consecutive pars before a bogey at the ninth sent her to the back nine in 3-over.

Her first birdie of the round came at the par-5 10th hole, where she dropped a 40-foot bender, but Weiss gave back a stroke with a bogey at the 12th.

Following a double-bogey at the 15th, Weiss hit her approach inside of eight feet at the 17th and converted her birdie opportunity to get to 4-over.

Despite a struggle on the final hole leading to a double-bogey, Weiss held on to card a 6-over 78 and earn the final qualifying spot.

“Overall, I played fairly well and hung in there. I wasn’t hitting it all that great, but then hit a few more solid shots on the back nine,” Weiss said. “I thought if I played well that I could qualify, and I played okay considering I didn’t feel that comfortable.”

Weiss, 58, is looking to return to her 2021 form, when a final-round 68 helped her to post a 3-over 291 at Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield, Conn., to finish tied for 10th.

She missed the cut after posting rounds of 79-79 at her first appearance at the championship in 2019 at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C, and would miss the cut in 2022 at NCR Country Club in Kettering, Ohio, shooting 84-79.

A former walk-on at the University of Minnesota, Weiss started 240 events during her 13-year LPGA Tour career, and currently sits 322nd on the LPGA’s career money list, earning over $960,000.

Weiss qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open in 1996 and 2001, making the cut on both occasions. She also competed on the Futures and Asian Tour, where she won 10 times.

Missing the cut in each of her first three appearances, Shimura said she hopes to replicate her solid start at the national championship in August.

“The front nine was good,” Shimura said through a translator Wednesday. “The back nine I was so nervous, but I’m very happy.”

A steady Shimura played her front nine in even par Wednesday before a birdie at the 10th put her into red figures for the round.

As conditions worsened late in the round, Shimura would card six bogeys over her final eight holes on her way to medalist honors at 5-over 77.

Gigi Higgins, of Cape Coral, Fla., posted an 8-over 80 Wednesday to finish as first alternate, while Jayne Pardus, from Mount Pleasant, S.C., escaped a playoff to finish as second alternate following a round of 81.

Last season, England’s Trish Johnson became the fourth player in five years to win the U.S. Senior Open, shooting 4-under 284 to earn a one-stroke victory at Waverley Country Club in Portland, Ore.

Colorado’s Jill McGill remains the only American to win the championship since its inception in 2018. McGill carded a final-round 73 to win the 2022 championship by one stroke.

Designed by Seth Raynor in 1923, Fox Chapel Golf Club will host its first USGA championship since the United States won the Curtis Cup in 2002.

The club previously hosted the 1965 U.S. Senior Amateur, as well as the U.S. Women’s Amateur two decades later.

Most recently, the Senior Players Championship was contested at Fox Chapel from 2012-14.


Nick Hunter

Nick Hunter got his start covering sports for the Mankato Free Press while attending Minnesota State University, Mankato. 

He then contributed to several online outlets, including Bleacher Report, prior to turning his focus to golf.

Hunter enters his 12th season covering golf in Minnesota as news editor for the MGA website. He resides in New Prague with his wife and two sons.

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