WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Georgia’s Jillian Hollis shot 2-under 140 in a qualifier at the Ranch Country Club on Monday to earn a bid to the U.S. Women’s Open later this summer. Hollis finished as runner-up at the site.
Hollis opened her 36-hole day with a 2-under 69 in the morning and followed that with an even-par 71 in the afternoon. Robyn Choi posted a 6-under 136, the top score at the qualifier. Choi and Hollis produced the only under-par tallies among the 58 golfers in the field.
“It was a good day,” Hollis said. “I just played the way I play. I had my mom (Sharon) caddying for me. That was nice because we got to bounce back numbers to each other. We had to calculate with the altitude. I really liked the course, and it set up nicely for me. I was actually 3-under on second 18 and finished with three bogeys, but I still made it. It was nerve racking but good.”
Hollis will compete in the Open later this month from May 31-June 3 at the Shoal Creek Golf and Country Club outside Birmingham, Ala. The event will be her first as a professional as she intends to turn professional following this weekend’s NCAA Championships.
“It just hit me that my first tournament as a pro will be the U.S. Open,” Hollis said. “That’s so cool. I’ll be able to go in there with no pressure on me. I can just go out and play golf. No one really knows who I am. I’m just going out there and playing. That’s when I play the best.”
Rinko Mitsunaga also participated in an Open qualifier on Monday. She shot 4-under 140 at the TPC Prestancia in Sarasota, Fla., and tied for seventh. That site offered three spots in the field for Shoal Creek.
Hollis will wrap up her collegiate career this weekend when she represents Georgia in the NCAA Championships. She finished ninth at the NCAA Tallahassee Regional last week to earn one of three individual spots for the NCAAs. Hollis will compete on Friday–Sunday at the Karsten Creek Golf Course in Stillwater, Okla. After Sunday’s third round, the field will be trimmed to the top-15 teams and the low nine individuals not on those teams. The NCAA medalist will be determined following Monday’s fourth round.