For the first time since the early days of the championship, the 120th US Open scheduled to be held from September 17-20 will be conducted without qualifying.
Due to continued health concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic, the USGA announced the decision Tuesday to fill the field entirely through exemptions. In early April, the USGA postponed the championship from its original June dates to September.
“As you can imagine, this was an incredibly difficult decision, as qualifying is a cornerstone of USGA championships,” said John Bodenhamer, senior managing director of Championships for the USGA.
“We take great pride in the fact that many thousands typically enter to pursue their dream of qualifying for the US Open and we deeply regret that they will not have that opportunity this year. But this structure provides the best path forward for us to conduct the US Open 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.
In partnership with Allied Golf Associations (AGAs), the USGA had scheduled 108 local qualifiers each over 18 holes in 45 states, with one planned in Canada. Those were to be followed by 12 final qualifiers over 36 holes in late May and early June.
Nine of those final qualifiers were to be conducted by AGAs in the United States, with three additional final qualifiers in England, Japan and Canada.