USGA Announces Changes to US Open
25 Aug, 2020
The United States Golf Association (USGA) has announced it will not hold any qualifying tournaments this year for the US Open, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Around half the field in each year's Open qualifies through local and regional tournaments, but for 2020 it will be filled "entirely through exemptions".
The USGA created a new slogan in March called "From Many, One", celebrating the thousands of golfers who attempt to qualify for the major before the field is whittled down to 156.
Despite this campaign, officials have said that the crisis left them with no other choice but to cancel qualification, technically meaning that the tournament will no longer be "open".
"Throughout this process, our primary focus has been the safety and well-being of everyone involved, including our players, volunteers, host club representatives and staff," said John Bodenhamer, the senior managing director of championships for USGA. "We have not taken these decisions lightly and wish we had more options, but with a continued, keen interest in doing what is best for all involved, although we are extremely disappointed, this is the right decision."
This year's US Open, scheduled to be hosted at the Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck in New York, was postponed from June due to the crisis, and is now scheduled for September 17 to 20.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has allowed live sports in the state to go ahead without spectators.
Both other golf majors in the US, the Masters and PGA Championship, have also moved dates because of COVID-19.
The PGA Championship is scheduled for between August 6 and 9 and the Masters is due to be held from November 12 to 15. The remaining major, The Open Championship or British Open, has been cancelled. The USGA has also cancelled the US Mid-Amateur, Women's Mid-Amateur, Senior Amateur and Senior Women's Amateur tournaments. The US Women's Open, US Amateur and US Women's Amateur competitions will all take place without qualifying.