USGA Unveils List of U.S. Open Exemptions

The United States Golf Association (USGA) has announced its list of exemptions for the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

The list comes because the majority of the qualifying events were canceled due to the spread of coronavirus across the globe. 

“The decision to cancel local and final qualifying for this year’s U.S. Open was deeply disappointing, but we are pleased to still provide the world’s best professional and amateur players the opportunity to compete for this historic and coveted championship,” said John Bodenhamer, senior managing director, Championships. 

He added, “The exemption categories for this year’s championship at Winged Foot Golf Club were carefully developed to mirror a representative U.S. Open field, and we are excited that players will still have an opportunity to earn a place in the field through a variety of categories.” 

The U.S. Open is set to take place September 17 to September 20. 


Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are among the exemptions. PHOTO: Angela George

The 2020 field will include the top 70 point leaders and ties from the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), as of March 15, instead of the usual top 60. Players who are not already exempt can earn places by their performances in the following events on the PGA Tour schedule: The Memorial, 3M Championship, WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, Barracuda Championship and Wyndham Championship, as well as the PGA Championship. 

This year, exemption categories will include the PGA Tour’s FedExCup final points list (top 5), the Korn Ferry Tour’s regular-season points and finals (top 5 in each), the European Tour’s UK Swing (top 10 in aggregate points for first five events) and the PGA Professional Championship (top 3). 

Final 2019 Order of Merit categories for the Japan Golf Tour, Sunshine Tour, Asian Tour and Australasia Tour will help to round out the field of 144 players.

The World Amateur Golf Ranking® will be utilized to round out the amateur contingent at Winged Foot, as the top seven point leaders who are not otherwise exempt as of Aug. 19 will be added to the six amateurs who are currently exempt.

Exemptions for finishes in recent USGA championships, including the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Mid-Amateur, U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Senior Open, will remain unchanged, as will exemptions for winners of the Masters Tournament, The Open Championship conducted by The R&A, PGA Championship, Players Championship and BMW PGA Championship.

Remaining spots in the championship will be filled using the OWGR, as of Aug. 23.

Eleven U.S. Open champions currently meet exemption categories, including three-time winner Tiger Woods (2000, 2002, 2008), Brooks Koepka, who claimed back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018, and Gary Woodland, who won last year at Pebble Beach. Joining Woods, Koepka and Woodland are: Lucas Glover (2009), Dustin Johnson (2016), Martin Kaymer (2014), Graeme McDowell (2010), Rory McIlroy (2011), Justin Rose (2013), Webb Simpson (2012) and Jordan Spieth (2015).

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