USGA cancels U.S. Open qualifying

Qualifying for the U.S. Open at Winged Foot was canceled by the United States Golf Association, which will bolster the field with additional exemptions for the major tournament scheduled to be played Sept. 17-20.

There will be no qualifying for any USGA tournaments in 2020.

“As you can imagine, this was an incredibly difficult decision, as qualifying is a cornerstone of USGA championships,” USGA senior managing director John Bodenhamer said. “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.”

Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., remains closed. It is expected to re-open in June, months ahead of preparations being finalized for the 2020 U.S. Open.

Cancellations added Monday were the U.S. Mid-Amateur, Women’s Mid-Amateur, Senior Amateur and Senior Women’s Amateur.

For more than 100 years, the U.S. Open stood on the premise that any golfer could enter and win the event with qualifying tournaments held at multiple locations around the country. In a typical year, around 10,000 entrants — pros and amateurs with a handicap of 1.4 or lower — enter the Open.

Lucas Glover is among U.S. Open champions (2009) to advance out of final qualifying.

Not this year, however.

“We have not taken these decisions lightly and wish we had more options,” Bodenhamer said. “But with a continued, keen interest in doing what is best for all involved, although we are extremely disappointed, this is the right decision.”

The U.S. Open was scheduled for June but moved to September as part of the PGA’s reshaped calendar in response to COVID-19. The U.S. Women’s Open was also postponed and will be played Dec. 10-13.

The U.S. Amateur (Aug. 10-16) and U.S. Women’s Amateur (Aug. 3-9) remain part of the golf schedule. The USGA plans to make an announcement regarding exemption categories for all four events.

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