NEW YORK (AFP) – The US Golf Association (USGA) is cancelling qualifying for the US Open, which remains scheduled for Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, New York, in September.
The major championship was originally set for June 18-21 at Winged Foot, and postponed as part of the major revision of the international golf calendar in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
While the US Open remains on course for September 17-20, the USGA said that the usual local, sectional and final qualifying would not take place.
“As you can imagine, this was an incredibly difficult decision, as qualifying is a cornerstone of USGA championships,” said Senior Managing Director of Championships for the USGA John Bodenhamer.
The governing body said the fields for the US Open and the US Women’s Open would be filled entirely through exemptions, with information regarding expanded exemption categories to be made available in the coming weeks.
“We take great pride in the fact that many thousands typically enter to pursue their dream of qualifying for a USGA championship and we deeply regret that they will not have that opportunity this year,” Bodenhamer said. “But this structure provides the best path forward for us to conduct these championships in 2020.”
In eight of the last nine years, more than 9,000 pros and amateurs with a handicap of 1.4 or lower entered US Open qualifying.
Final qualifying for the 2020 US Open, conducted over 36 holes, had been scheduled to be held at eight US sites, one in Canada, one in Japan and one in England, in May and June.
Recent US Open champions to advance from final qualifying included Lucas Glover in 2009 and New Zealand’s Michael Campbell in 2005.
The USGA also announced the cancellation of four 2020 amateur championships, bringing the number of cancelled USGA championships to 10 – including the US Senior Open and the US Senior Women’s Open.
The US Women’s Open, originally scheduled for June 4-7, has been rescheduled for December 10-13 at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas.