The USGA has scrapped qualifying for the US Open due to the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning it will essentially be an invitational
Why This Year’s US Open Will Not Officially Be An Open
This year’s US Open will not officially be an ‘open’ after the USGA announced that there would be no qualifying for the event due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The tournament is still set to get underway at Winged Foot in New York on the postponed date of 17th September.
The USGA has now cancelled most of its tournaments this year barring the US Open, US Women’s Open, US Amateur and US Women’s Amateur.
All four events will not feature any qualifying because, as the USGA says, “conducting hundreds of qualifiers across the country was not seen as a viable option.”
This means that the fields will be assembled by exemptions only, essentially turning the events into ‘invitationals’ as oppose to ‘opens’.
The US Open usually has local qualifying events before final Sectional Qualifying, which is hosted at 15 sites including Walton Heath in Surrey as well as Japan, Canada and all across the USA.
In 2005, Michael Campbell qualified at Walton Heath and then went on to win the US Open at Pinehurst.
“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 a USGA championship 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 these championships in 2020.”
The USGA has not yet decided whether to allow fans to attend the US Open in September.
“We have not yet made a final determination regarding whether spectators will be able to attend the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot Golf Club, the USGA PR department announced.
“Given the realities of the pandemic, we are recreating the entire championship experience for everyone involved.
“We appreciate and understand everyone’s questions and will provide more information as soon as possible.”
The US Open is set to take place a week prior to the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, and it is still unknown whether fans will be allowed to attend or not.
The PGA Tour gets back up-and-running next month with at least the first four tournaments taking place without crowds.
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