The USGA has cancelled local and sectional qualifying for the 2020 US Open and announced that fans will not be able to attend the season’s second major, which is due to take place at Winged Foot in New York from September 17-20.
The governing body announced the decision in wake of the coronavirus pandemic, along with its decision to also cancel the US Mid-Amateur and US Women’s Mid-Amateur and both its senior amateur championships.
In lieu of the traditional spots conferred in sectional qualifying, the USGA will create exemption categories, the details of which are currently being finalised. There would have been 107 local qualifying events and 10 sectional events.
USGA officials felt it could not manage all of its tournament lineup to a championship standard during the current Covid-19 pandemic. The USGA’s headquarters are in New Jersey, which has registered among the highest number of Covid-19 cases.
Last year, over 70 players who took part in the US Open at Pebble Beach came through qualifying. International Qualifying, which was due to take place at Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey on June 8, has been cancelled.
Only three players have ever won the US Open after coming through qualifying, including Michael Campbell, who won an International Qualifying event at Walton Heath before triumphing at Pinehurst in 2005, while Lucas Glover came through sectional qualifying before winning at Bethpage Black in 2010.
Aside from the US Open, the US Women’s Open will still be played in December. The US Amateur and US Women’s Amateur are keeping their original August dates.