1997 U.S. Women's Open Winners and Scores

Alison Nicholas held off fan favorite Nancy Lopez to win this, the 52nd playing of the U.S. Women's Open. The 1997 tournament was Lopez's last charge at a trophy she never won.

Winner: Alison Nicholas, 274

Where it was played: Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club (Witch Hollow Course) in North Plains, Oregon

Tournament dates: July 10-13, 1997

Leader after first round: Liselotte Neumann, 67

Leader after second round: Alison Nicholas, 136

Leader after third round: Alison Nicholas, 203

What Happened in the 1997 U.S. Women's Open

Nancy Lopez had been the biggest name in women's golf since 1978, the biggest of the LPGA Tour stars. But she had never won the U.S. Women's Open. In the 1997 tournament, Lopez made what turned out to be her final charge at claiming that title. In the end, though, she came up one stroke short of winner Alison Nicholas.

Nicholas had 12 wins on the Ladies European Tour and two on the LPGA Tour prior to this tournament. She moved into the lead with a 66 in the second round. With a 67 in Round 3, Nicholas' 203 total was a then-tournament record for 54 holes, and she held a three-stroke lead over Lopez.

Playing together in the final pairing, Lopez pursued Nicholas throughout the final round. Lopez, 40 years old, was the clear favorite of the crowd, with fans loudly encouraging her. On the 72nd tee, Nicholas led Lopez by one.

It came down to the final green, where Lopez missed a 15-foot birdie putt. After that, Nicholas sank a three-foot par putt for the victory.

Nicholas' 274 total was 10-under par, making her the first golfer in USWO history to finish at double digits under par. At the time, Lopez's 275 was the lowest score ever posted by a non-winner, a record that wasn't beaten until 2015. Lopez also finished second despite becoming the first golfer in U.S. Women's Open history to play all four rounds in the 60s.

It was the last of four times Lopez was runner-up in the U.S. Women's Open, which had first happened when she was an amateur in 1975. But it proved to be her final Top 10 finish in any major.

Two-time defending champion Annika Sorenstam did not fare well in her attempt to become the first person to win this trophy three consecutive years. Sorenstam scored 77-73 and missed the cut by three strokes.

1997 U.S. Women's Open Final Scores

Alison Nicholas70-66-67-71—274
Nancy Lopez69-68-69-69—275
Kelly Robbins68-69-74-66—277
Karrie Webb73-72-65-68—278
Stefania Croce72-69-71-67—279
Lisa Hall71-70-67-71—279
Tammie Green74-70-71-65—280
Michele Redman74-67-70-69—280
Patty Sheehan72-71-71-68—282
Christa Johnson72-68-73-69—282
Dawn Coe-Jones72-67-73-70—282
Donna Andrews74-71-66-71—282
Akiko Fukushima71-71-69-71—282
Brandie Burton73-72-69-70—284
Dottie Pepper72-70-72-70—284
Juli Inkster72-66-76-70—284
Liselotte Neumann67-70-76-71—284
Deb Richard68-70-73-73—284
Trish Johnson69-74-71-71—285
Kim Williams71-71-67-76—285
Kelli Kuehne72-73-74-67—286
Karen Weiss74-72-72-68—286
Se Ri Pak68-74-75-69—286
Pat Hurst72-74-70-70—286
Luciana Bemvenuti73-71-72-70—286
Caroline McMillan71-71-73-71—286
Catriona Matthew76-69-70-72—287
Sherrin Smyers71-71-75-71—288
Pat Bradley72-71-73-72—288
Kathryn Imrie72-71-73-72—288
Betsy King74-72-69-73—288
Joan Pitcock71-69-75-73—288
Dale Eggeling71-74-76-70—291
Elizabeth Makings72-73-75-71—291
Vicki Fergon72-75-71-73—291
Marianne Morris75-69-74-73—291
Rosie Jones70-74-73-74—291
Pearl Sinn-Bonanni70-73-74-74—291
Michelle McGann73-70-73-75—291
Catrin Nilsmark76-70-69-76—291
Alicia Dibos70-75-74-73—292
Jill McGill71-74-72-75—292
Nanci Bowen74-73-75-71—293
Missie McGeorge77-70-73-73—293
Meg Mallon74-72-73-74—293
Jenny Lidback73-71-75-74—293
Erika Wicoff72-73-73-75—293
Jan Stephenson71-73-79-71—294
Helen Alfredsson76-70-75-73—294
Lorie Kane69-75-76-74—294
Becky Iverson72-73-78-72—295
Barb Mucha72-74-73-76—295
Emilee Klein75-71-75-75—296
Jackie Gallagher-Smith74-73-73-76—296
Muffin Spencer-Devlin69-72-75-80—296
Tracy Hanson75-72-78-72—297
a-Jenny Chuasiriporn70-74-78-75—297
Susie Redman68-75-78-76—297
Dana Dormann73-74-78-73—298
Nancy Harvey75-72-76-75—298
Mitzi Edge72-73-81-73—299
Robin Walton74-72-76-77—299
a-Brenda Corrie Kuehn71-74-79-78—302
a-Page Halpin75-72-79-77—303

Previous and next:
1996 U.S. Women's Open - 1998 U.S. Women's Open

LPGA.com. U.S. Women's Open, Past Winners, https://www.lpga.com/tournaments/us-womens-open/results?filters=1997
Pennington, Bill. "Lopez fails to get Shorty," New York Times via Spokane Spokesman-Review, July 14, 1997, https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=95xjAAAAIBAJ&sjid=dvEDAAAAIBAJ&pg=4990%2C3491221
Shipnuck, Alan. "Open and Shut," Sports Illustrated, July 21, 1997, https://web.archive.org/web/20161106155336/https://www.si.com/vault/1997/07/21/229649/open-and-shut-playing-like-her-old-self-nancy-lopez-had-a-chance-to-win-the-elusive-us-womens-open-title-but-then-little-alison-nicholas-slammed-the-door
United States Golf Association. U.S. Women's Open Records, https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/media/online-media-center/usga-records/u-s--women-s-open-records.html

Popular posts from this blog

Ryder Cup Captains: The Full List