Yealimi Noh replaces World No. 2 Lilia Vu in the field for 79th U.S. Women’s Open

World No. 2 Lilia Vu’s name has dropped from the field list for the 79th U.S. Women’s Open, held May 30 to June 2. The two-time major winner has been struggling with an ailing back this season. She last competed on tour in late March at the Ford Championship, where she tied for 21st.

Vu was replaced in the field at Lancaster (Pa.) Country Club by Yealimi Noh, who shot 69-73 at Rainier Golf and Country Club in Seattle, Washington, and is the second alternate to advance from that site. This marks Noh’s fourth USWO appearance. She won the 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior title.

Yealimi Noh of the United States plays her shot from the second tee during the Final round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G at Pinnacle Country Club on October 01, 2023 in Rogers, Arkansas. (Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images)

Vu, 26, withdrew from the Chevron Championship in April, where she was defending her title, before the start of the first round after a painful warmup session. The former UCLA standout won four times on the LPGA last season and spent 28 weeks atop the Rolex Rankings.

The U.S. Women’s Open field of 156 players will be finalized on Monday after the release of the Rolex Rankings. At that time, the USGA will release which qualifying sites are up first and second in the case of additional withdrawals from fully exempt players.

There’s additional interest in alternate spots this year after transgender golfer Hailey Davidson came within one spot of qualifying for Lancaster. Davidson posted rounds of 70-73 in the 36-hole qualifier at Bradenton (Florida) Country Club, where only two players advanced. Davidson won a playoff – draining a 25-foot birdie putt – to earn the first alternate position from that site.

Should one of the two amateurs who qualified from Bradenton withdraw – Amelie Zalsman of St. Petersburg, Florida, or Pimpisa Sisutham of Thailand – Davidson would get into the field.

Otherwise, she’s quite far down the overall re-allotment list to have a chance (the list used to replace fully exempt players), posting on her Instagram story that she’s 18th.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek