USGA cancels more events, no qualifying for US Open

The USGA announced several updates to its 2020 championship schedule, as the organisation continues to reconfigure its season due to uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The re-evaluation of their tournaments will see the playing of the US Amateur subject to local authorities ensuring player safety.

Gary Woodland Gary Woodland won the 2019 US Open (Credit: USGA)

The US Women’s Amateur, scheduled for 3rd-9th August at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville and the 120th US Amateur, scheduled for 10th-16th August at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, will be go ahead as usual, provided that CDC recommendations and state and local government guidelines make it possible to do so.

All four championships, including the US Open and Women’s US Open, will be conducted without qualifying, which means the fields will be filled entirely through exemptions.

“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.”

108 local qualifying events and 12 final qualifying tournaments were originally slated for this year with the final qualifying being conducted across the US, Canada, Japan and England.

Each year close to 10,000 golfers attempt to qualify for the major and pull off the seemingly impossible. However in its entire history only three players have gone on to win the US Open via qualifying – Steve Jones (1996), New Zealand’s Michael Campbell (2005) and Lucas Glover (2009).

In addition, the USGA announced that the remaining four 2020 amateur championships will be cancelled, including the US Women’s Mid-Amateur, US Senior Amateur, US Mid-Amateur and US Senior Women’s Amateur.

The USGA previously announced the cancellation of six 2020 championships: the US Amateur Four-Ball, US Women’s Amateur Four-Ball, US Senior Open, US Senior Women’s Open, US Girls’ Junior and US Junior Amateur.

The re-scheduling will see four championships under the USGA banner.

In early April, the USGA announced that the 120th US Open will be played at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York, from 17th-20th September and the 75th US Women’s Open will be played at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas, from 10th-13th December.

Testing and robust health and safety protocols will be in place at each of the four championships.