The US Open will return to a qualifying format for this year’s tournament at Torrey Pines, starting with 109 local course events in April and May, the US Golf Association announced Wednesday.
The Covid-19 pandemic prompted the USGA to cancel qualifying last year and staged the event at Winged Foot last September, where Bryson DeChambeau won his first major title in an all-exempt field selected from rankings and other criteria.
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This year’s 18-hole local qualifiers will be staged in US and Canadian venues from April 26 to May 18. Golfers advance from local to 36-hole final qualifying tournaments, the dates and courses for which will be announced in February.
The 121st US Open is scheduled for June 17-20 at Torrey Pines in San Diego, where the US PGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open is being played this week.
“Professional and amateur golfers worldwide have a pathway to emerge from the thousands who will attempt to earn a place in this year’s US Open,” USGA championships managing director John Bodenhamer said.
There were 9,125 entries for the 2019 US Open at Pebble Beach. A record 10,127 entries was set for the 2014 Open at Pinehurst.
Two years ago, 17 players advanced through both qualifying rounds to reach the 156-player field at Pebble Beach and four of those made the cut.
The only players to win the US Open title after advancing through local and final qualifying, Ken Venturi in 1964 and Orville Moody in 1969.