Thursday, June 4, 2020

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With the qualification canceled, here’s how the USGA should fill out the United States Open field

With the USGA qualifying for this year’s US Open, the 17-20 September field at Winged Foot will be completely exempt.

“As you can imagine, this was an incredibly difficult decision, as qualifying is a cornerstone of the USGA championships,” said John Bodenhamer, senior general manager of the USGA championships. “We are very proud of the fact that many thousands generally enter to pursue their dream of qualifying for a USGA championship and we are deeply sorry that we do not have this opportunity this year.”


Bodenhamer USGA: ‘agonizing’ for us to have to clear our qualifications


The USGA is expected to announce the exemption categories for the U.S. Open, as well as its remaining three 2020 championships (U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur) in the coming weeks.

But until then, it’s time to get a little creative.

With 50 players already qualified for this year’s US Open, how should the USGA fill the rest of its 156-player field, assuming the field remains that size?

Here is a suggestion on how he can do it without completely renouncing his “open” identity:

DI Will Gray

– May 18, 2020 at 2:50 pm

USGA canceled qualifying for all four of the remaining 2020 leagues, including the U.S. Open at the Winged Foot.

Players exempted from now (50)

US Open champions in the last 10 years (9)
Gary Woodland, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Martin Kaymer, Justin Rose, Webb Simpson, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell

Top 10 Finalists in the U.S. Open 2019 (7)
Chesson Hadley, Louis Oosthuizen, Jon Rahm, Chez Reavie, Xander Schauffele, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson

Senior Open US Champion 2019
Steve Stricker

U.S. winner and runner-up in 2019 (2)
Andy Ogletree (a), John Augenstein (a)

American Mid-Amateur Champion 2019
Lukas Michel (a)

USA Junior amateur Champion of 2019
Preston Summerhays (a)

British amateur champion 2019
James Sugrue (a)

Winner of the McCormack Medal 2019
Cole Hammer (a)

Master’s degree winners over the past five years (4)
Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Danny Willett, Tiger Woods

PGA championship winners over the past five years (3)
Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker

Open Championship winners over the past five years (3)
Zach Johnson, Shane Lowry, Francesco Molinari

2019 Tour Championship Qualifiers (17)
Abraham Ancer, Patrick Cantlay, Paul Casey, Corey Conners, Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau, Tommy Fleetwood, Rickie Fowler, Lucas Glover, Chares Howell III, Sungjae Im, Kevin Kisner, Jason Kokrak, Matt Kuchar, Marc Leishman, Hideki Matsuyama, Brandt Snedeker


Suggested exemption categories to add / keep

Top 60 in the official world golf ranking as of May 18 (25) *
Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, Bernd Wiesberger, Kevin Na, Lee Westwood, Billy Horschel, Cameron Smith, Jazz Janewattananond, Victor Perez, Shugo Imahira, Erik Van Rooyen, Matt Wallace, Collin Morikawa, Scottie Scheffler, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Ben An, Sung Kang, Bubba Watson, Brendon Todd, Adam Hadwin, Viktor Hovland, Ian Poulter, Tom Lewis, Shaun Norris

Winner of the PGA 2020 championship
TBD

Winner of the 2017 players’ championship
Yes Woo Kim

Any winner of a PGA Tour event does the opposite camp between 2019 and U.S.Open U.S.Open 2020 (TBD; currently 11)
Nate Lashley, Matthew Wolff, Dylan Frittelli, J.T. Poston, Joaquin Niemann, Sebastian Munoz, Cameron Champ, Lanto Griffin, Tyler Duncan, Andrew Landry, Nick Taylor

2020 Tour Championship Qualifying (TBD)
TBD

The 10 best players in the Korn Ferry Tour points as of August 31, after the Korn Ferry Tour Championship (25)
TBD (Currently, this would have sparked the enthusiasm of Davis Riley and Dylan Wu on the field)

Top 10 players at the Korn Ferry Tour points on September 14th, after Evans Scholars Invitational (TBD)
TBD

2020 U.S. amateur champion and runner-up (2)
TBD

McCormack 2020 Medal Winner
TBD

Haskins, Hogan and Nicklaus 2020 Award Winners (3)
Sahith Theegala (a), TBD, TBD (Theegala could potentially wipe these awards)

Top 10 in the world rankings in amateur golf after 2020 US Amateur (TBD)
TBD (As of now, the best amateurs like Takumi Kanaya, Ricky Castillo and John Pak would have been among the exempt ones while Theegala and Hammer would have been exempted through the previous categories)

Any sectional qualifier that finished in the top 50 and draws in the U.S. Open 2019 (7)
Alex Prugh, Sepp Straka, Marcus Kinhult, Jason Dufner, Brandon Wu, Rory Sabbatini, Tom Hoge

Special exemptions (TBD)
TBD

Use the best players left in the official world golf ranking on September 14th to fill the course (TBD)
TBD

(A rough estimate would leave around 30-35 points to be filled across those last two categories)

* Players are not officially free at this point

.

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