British champion Lauren Taylor has been ruled out of an automatic place in the 2012 US Women’s Open Championship following an error by the USGA.
Earlier this month the USGA announced that, as British champion, Lauren would be exempt into the Open. This week they contacted the 17-year-old England international to apologise and explain that the news was incorrect.
The exemption will go instead to the winner of the 2012 British championship – who will claim her title in Carnoustie on 30 June, just five days before the US Women’s Open tees off at Blackwolf Run in Wisconsin.
John Petrie, the chief executive of England Golf, commented: “It’s both a deeply unfair and a rather impractical decision. Having announced Lauren’s exemption and published it on their website it is just plain wrong to withdraw it.
“Given the two events are just days apart, it rather assumes that a player will have booked flights and accommodation on the off-chance of winning the British title, which is in itself a physically and mentally draining week – not ideal preparation for a Major. The sensible solution is for the 2011 British amateur champion to play in the 2012 US Women’s Open and so on.”
The news has created dismay and disbelief among Lauren’s 1600-plus Twitter followers. Among those asking the USGA to reconsider or issue a special invitation are Sky Sports Golf and Golf World.
Meanwhile, Lauren is accepting the news, keeping a low profile and has tweeted: “There are always speed bumps in the road to success. But you will come back stronger.”
Her mother, Jackie, remarked: “Lauren is taking the news well and dealing with it with the maturity we know she possesses, having won such a great title at such a young age.”
Lauren was 16 when she won the title and became the youngest-ever British champion. Her achievement was recognised before millions of television viewers when she went on to win the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year Award.
Picture Courtesy of: CalCarson Golf Agency