USGA scraps qual­i­fy­ing for US Open

Kuwait Times - - Sports -

NEW YORK: The US Golf As­so­ci­a­tion is can­celling qual­i­fy­ing for the US Open, which re­mains sched­uled for Winged Foot in Ma­maro­neck, New York, in Septem­ber.

The ma­jor cham­pi­onship was orig­i­nally set for June 18-21 at Winged Foot, and post­poned as part of the ma­jor re­vi­sion of the in­ter­na­tional golf cal­en­dar in the face of the coronaviru­s pan­demic.

While the US Open re­mains on course for Septem­ber 17-20, the USGA said that the usual lo­cal, sec­tional and fi­nal qual­i­fy­ing would not take place. “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.

The gov­ern­ing body said the fields for the US Open and the US Women’s Open would be filled en­tirely through ex­emp­tions, with in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing ex­panded ex­emp­tion cat­e­gories to be made avail­able in the com­ing weeks.

“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,” Bo­den­hamer said. “But this struc­ture pro­vides the best path for­ward for us to con­duct these cham­pi­onships 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. Fi­nal qual­i­fy­ing for the 2020 US Open, con­ducted over 36 holes, had been sched­uled to be held at eight US sites, one in Canada, one in Ja­pan and one in Eng­land, in May and June.

Re­cent US Open cham­pi­ons to ad­vance from fi­nal qual­i­fy­ing in­cluded Lu­cas Glover in 2009 and New Zealand’s Michael Camp­bell in 2005. The USGA also an­nounced the can­cel­la­tion of four 2020 am­a­teur cham­pi­onships, bring­ing the num­ber of can­celled USGA cham­pi­onships to 10 — in­clud­ing the US Se­nior Open and the US Se­nior Women’s Open.

The US Women’s Open, orig­i­nally sched­uled for June 4-7, has been resched­uled for De­cem­ber 10-13 at Cham­pi­ons Golf Club in Hous­ton, Texas. — AFP

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