The United States Golf Association today announced the exemption categories for the 120th U.S. Open Championship, which will be contested Sept. 17-20 at Winged Foot Golf Club (West Course), in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
As previously announced, the 2020 U.S. Open field will be comprised entirely of exempt players due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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 meaning that Phil Mickelson (ranked No. 61 on March 15) will be in the field at Winged Foot.
Winged Foot was the site of the 2006 U.S. Open when Mickelson stepped to the 18th tee on Sunday with a one shot and after his driver went way left, he eventually ended up with a double bogey and one shot behind champion Geoff Ogilvy.
Mickelson, six-time U.S. Open runner-up, has repeatedly said that he did not want an exemption into the U.S. Open if he was not already qualified, and now he is in.
“That worked out great,” Mickelson said. “To be able to know that I have a chance to go back to Winged Foot and give it another shot. As long as I’m playing well enough to compete to earn my way into the field, then I want to play and keep trying to win that tournament.”
“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. “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.”
Players who are not already exempt can earn places by their performances in the following events on the PGA Tour schedule: The Memorial, 3M Open, WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, Barracuda Championship and Wyndham Championship, as well as the PGA Championship (Aug. 6-9).
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.
An average of 15 amateurs have competed in the last five U.S. Opens and at least 10 amateurs have competed in 12 of the past 13, including 2018 U.S. Amateur champion Viktor Hovland, who tied for 12th last year at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links. 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. More information on exemption categories and the entry application process can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
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).
Winged Foot Golf Club is hosting its sixth U.S. Open and 13th USGA championship, which includes Geoff Ogilvy’s one-stroke victory over Jim Furyk, Colin Montgomerie and Phil Mickelson in 2006. Other U.S. Open champions at Winged Foot are: Robert T. Jones Jr. (1929), Billy Casper (1959), Hale Irwin (1974) and Fuzzy Zoeller (1984).
Exemption categories for the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open, to be played Dec. 10-13 at Champions Golf Club, in Houston, Texas, will be announced next week.