Lancaster Country Club hosts Media Day ahead of 79th U.S Women's Open golf championship

Apr. 30—LANCASTER — The U.S Women's Open Championship will return to Lancaster Country Club for the 79th installment of the tournament from May 30 to June 2.

On Tuesday, the USGA hosted Media Day at Lancaster Country Club detailing the upcoming major championship.

The venue previously hosted the championship in 2015 with a record attendance of 135,000. This year's U.S Women's Open is the 10th held in Pennsylvania and the 91st USGA event to take place in Pennsylvania, the most of any state in the nation.

"It's been nine years since the U.S Women's Open was held here and the reason why we're back is because this community and this experience was special," USGA CEO Mike Whan said. "We're proud of Lancaster Country Club and we're proud to bring in what I think is the best championship in the women's game to your community."

2015 champion In Gee Chun and last year's winner Allisen Corpuz were on hand on Tuesday to discuss their past victories as well as give their insights on the course at Lancaster Country Club.

In 2015, Chun won by one stroke over Amy Yang with an 8-under 272 to claim her first major championship and tie the tournament scoring record held by Annika Sorenstam and Juli Inkster. In total, the 29-year-old golfer from the Republic of Korea has four victories on the LPGA Tour, including three majors, and 41 top-10 finishes.

"When I won in 2015, my life would (then) totally change," Chun said. "At the time, I couldn't speak much English so I just said 'Thank you,' but luckily my English has gotten a bit better, so now I can explain how I feel special and appreciate all of the donors to my foundation and Lancaster Country Club and the committee in Lancaster."

In 2019, as a result of her fondness for the Lancaster area, Chun started the Lancaster Country Club Educational Foundation that provides scholarships for students seeking to achieve their educational and vocational goals in the Lancaster community. The foundation has given more than $470,000 in awards since its founding.

Having visited and played at Lancaster Country Club many times since her win, Chun is well versed in the layout of the course.

At the 79th U.S Women's Open, Lancaster Country Club will be set up between 6,500 and 6,700 yards and will play to a par of 35-35-70. The starting field of 156 golfers will be cut after 36 holes to the low 60 scorers (and ties), and a 12 million dollar purse tops last year's women's golf record total of 11 million (Corpuz received $2 million as champion).

"When you play here you don't want to hit over the greens; downhill chips can be hard," Chun said. "I played with Allisen this morning for three holes, 15 through 17, and on 17 you don't want to hit over the green because the next shot is going to be really tough.

"Everything is hard. Lancaster Country Club makes players play to every (type of) skill or shot."

No stranger to difficult courses, Corpuz won the 2023 U.S Women's Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links, which was hosting the championship for the first time. Her lone win on the LPGA Tour, Corpuz shot a 72-hole score of 9-under par 279 to defeat Charley Hull and Jiyai Shin by three strokes.

"First of all, being at Pebble Beach, such a historic venue, and that was my fifth U.S Open," Corpuz said, "so to be able to come back to such an amazing championship and go out and win it.... I still think about it and the final round and it still hasn't sunk in some days. But its an honor to be here."

So far this year on the LPGA Tour, Corpuz, of Kapolei, Hawaii, has three top-20 finishes, with her highest coming at the HSBC Women's World Championship in which she finished tied for eighth. As a result of winning the U.S Women's Open, Corpuz, 26, explained that she has an increased sense of confidence with her first win on tour out of the way.

"I think just playing a little more free and a little more confident," Corpuz said about her game since winning a major championship. "Even before winning I was like, 'I'm doing all right on tour,' but you never know when that first or if that first one is going to come. So kind of being able to get past that definitely is freeing."

The 2023 U.S Women's Open was the most viewed U.S Women's Open since 2014 and the tournament will receive expanded coverage this year. The tournament will have 26 hours of live coverage across three different networks (NBC, USA Network and Golf Channel) and will stream on Peacock. Streaming coverage will include featured groupings.

With an increased chance of making an impact on young athletes through strong viewership and a high attendance, Corpuz said she is proud to serve as an inspiration.

"They keep talking about the record attendance and how they expect to break records again this year, so I'm really looking forward to being out here and seeing that," Corpuz said. "I grew up watching a lot of the ladies out on tour, and that was kind of my inspiration for being here. So it's just really special for me to kind of be on the other side and knowing that I'm hopefully inspiring other little girls to take over the game."

Earlier this season, Chun had her highest finish thus far, as she finished tied for 22nd place at HSBC Women's World Championship. In order to earn another major victory at Lancaster Country Club, a strong mentality and understanding the course will be key for Chun.

"The key is to just enjoy the process," Chun said. "If you know the course then it has benefits for sure, but it means you know that trouble is out there. Staying present is really important for a golf game, so I don't want to think about all the trivial things out there."

For Corpuz, successfully defending her title would be a dream come true.

"It would be unreal," Corpuz said. "Just winning it once was the stuff of my dreams. So to be able to come back and defend would be really special."