SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The U.S. Women's Open is coming back to California for the first time in more than 30 years.
The U.S. Golf Association announced Wednesday that CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, Calif., has been awarded the 2016 championship. The tournament will take place from July 7-10 that year.
It will mark only the third time the event will be held in California. It also was played at the San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista in 1964 and Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento in 1982.
"Where better is women's sports celebrated than a state like California, one of the most significant states in the union?" said Thomas O'Toole Jr., chairman of the USGA's championship committee. "There's just great appeal to be able to go back there. Even though it's been a long time, we're excited that we accepted this invitation quickly."
CordeValle has all the ingredients the USGA craves: a wealth of corporate dollars some 30 miles north in the San Jose area, the space needed for a major championship and a scenic setting.
Returning to California also gives the event a later start time on the East Coast, which means a coveted prime-time audience for television. The tournament hasn't been played in the Pacific time zone since 2003, when it was held at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Oregon.
"We just think it's a perfect fit," O'Toole said.
On the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, CordeValle has everything but a rich history.
The course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., opened in 1999 and has hosted the PGA Tour's Frys.com Open the past three years. Tiger Woods even boosted its reputation a bit when he played the tournament in 2011 while recovering from injuries.
How much tweaking the course might need to challenge the world's best golfers is unclear. The winning scores in the Frys the past three years — Rocco Mediate at 15 under in 2010, Bryce Molder at 17 under in 2011, and Jonas Blixt at 16 under last year — have been easier than championship standards.