Betsy King qualifies for U.S. Women’s Open

Betsy King’s hairdresser should understand.

King, playing in her first U.S. Women’s Open qualifier since 1975, earned a spot in next month’s national championship.

“I had a lot of things scheduled, thinking I wasn’t going to make it,” King, 55, said after she shot 73-71 to finish second to amateur Kyung Kim for one of three spots at Alta Mesa Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz. “I have to reschedule a hair appointment.”

The Open is July 7-10 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo.

King won back-to-back Women’s Opens in 1989-90 and tied for third at the Broadmoor in ’95. She last played in an Open in 2004, on a USGA exemption.

King drove to Mesa three times from her home in Scottsdale to get acquainted with the track and took Esther Choe with her, acting as a mentor to the former top-ranked junior. King said playing 36 holes in one day wasn’t much of an issue, aside from second-round cramps in her right calf.

King won 34 LPGA events, including six majors, in a Hall of Fame career spanning 1977-2005. Since retiring, King says she is roughly a half-club shorter with her irons and 15 yards shorter off the tee. Broadmoor’s East Course will play to a Women’s Open-record 7,047 yards and a par 71.

“The big thing is, I don’t hit as many good shots in general, and my bad shots are worse,” she said, laughing.

But she’s in.

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