Athens, Ga. --- Georgia's Taylor Leon will be among 156 golfers opening play at the 61st U.S. Women's Open on Thursday at the Newport Country Club in Newport, R.I. Leon is slated to tee off at 8:28 a.m. and be paired with Maria Hjorth of Sweden and Jimin Kang of Korea during the first two rounds.
Though Leon finished her stellar freshman year at Georgia just over a month ago, she will be competing in her third consecutive U.S. Women's Open.
Leon, who was league coaches' unanimous choice as SEC Freshman of the Year and was tabbed first-team All-America by Golfweek during her initial campaign in Athens, participated in the 2004 and 2005 Opens after advancing through qualifying tournaments. This year, she received an exemption into the Open after earning a spot on the United States team for the upcoming Curtis Cup match play event against Great Britain and Ireland.
Leon still competed in and won the Sectional Qualifying event in McKinney, Texas by two strokes.
Leon was Georgia's top golfer during the 2005-06 campaign, posting top-10 individual finishes in seven of 11 events while recording a 73.24 stroke average which ranks No. 2 all-time in Bulldog history. Leon captured medalist honors at the Bryan National Collegiate while leading Georgia to the team title there as well.
Leon's amateur resume also is quite impressive. She has won three major tournaments in the last two years, the Doherty Amateur and the Pacific Northwest Golf Association's Women's Amateur in 2005 and the 2006 Southern Women's Amateur just two weeks ago.
Live hole-by-hole scoring from the Open is available at www.uswomensopen.com.