A cornerstone custom of the United States Open was canceled on Monday for this yr’s event. The United States Golf Association, which conducts the championship, decided that the huge system of qualifying rounds, which is held all through America in addition to in a number of different international locations and typically selects a large swath of the sphere for its main event from 1000’s of entrants, was infeasible due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This yr’s U.S. Open will host an all-exempt discipline. Players earn exemptions in myriad methods like being within the prime 60 of the world golf rankings, or being a previous champion of the occasion or one other main championship. The U.S. Open, initially scheduled for mid-June on the Winged Foot Golf Club in Westchester County, N.Y., was postponed last month to Sept. 17 to 20. Other changes to the tournament are being weighed, including a significant reduction in the number of fans allowed on the golf course, or perhaps hosting the event without spectators.
Three other U.S.G.A. championships will also be held without qualifying rounds: the U.S. Women’s Open, which was postponed until Dec. 10 to 13, at the Champions Golf Club in Houston; the U.S. Women’s Amateur, scheduled for Aug. 3 to 9 at the Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md.; and the U.S. Amateur, which was scheduled for Aug. 10 to 16, at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore.
“We take great pride in the fact that many thousands typically enter to pursue their dream of qualifying for a U.S.G.A. championship, and we deeply regret that they will not have that opportunity this year,” John Bodenhamer, senior managing director of championships at U.S.G.A., said. “Throughout the process, our primary focus has been the safety and well-being of everyone involved, including our players, volunteers, host club representatives and staff.”
Bodenhamer added, “We have not taken these decisions lightly and wish we had more options.”
The U.S.G.A. on Monday also canceled four other 2020 championships, which brought the number of canceled championships sponsored by the association to 10.