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Hinako Shibuno among eight Japanese players given spots in 2020 U.S. Women's Open

KYODO

Eight Japanese players, including 2019 Women's British Open winner Hinako Shibuno, were given exemptions for the postponed U.S. Women's Open, which will be played in December.

On Wednesday, the United States Golf Association finalized its exemption categories for the event, which will take place Dec. 10 to 13 at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas.

The tournament was originally scheduled for June 4 to 7 but was pushed back due to the spread of the coronavirus.

The association said that there will be no qualifying process due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, so players were only awarded a starting slot if they met one of the exemption criteria.

With no international qualifying, spots have been reserved for players who finished among the money list leaders on the Ladies European Tour, Japan LPGA, Korea LPGA and China LPGA.

The other Japanese to be awarded a place are Mamiko Higa, Nasa Hataoka, Ai Suzuki, Mone Inami, Yui Kawamoto, Momoko Ueda and Minami Katsu.

The LPGA Tour is scheduled to restart on July 31, after a more than five-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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