From next year, US Amateur champions won't forfeit their US Open spot if they turn professional
USGA Announces Big US Open Amateur Rule Change
The USGA has announced that from next year, the US Amateur and US Women’s Amateur champions will be able to play in the US Open and US Women’s Open even if they turn professional.
It seems like a common sense rule and will allow the champions to earn money and specific points (FedEx Cup, Race to Dubai, Race to CME Globe etc.) if they wish to turn professional beforehand.
This year, US Amateur champion Viktor Hovland played in the US Open as an amateur before turning professional the next week.
He lost out on important FedEx Cup points and $227,000 after his T12th finish at Pebble Beach.
“We believe this change gives our champions an important option as they choose whether and when to embark on their professional careers,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA Senior Managing Director, Championships.
“Given the significant purses awarded at the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open, we realise how important it is for players to make the most appropriate decision for his or her career, and the positive impact it could have at the outset of their professional careers.”
Hovland ultimately missed out on his 2019/20 PGA Tour card by the narrowest of margins but would have earned it easily if he could have teed it up at The Masters and US Open as a professional.
As it stands, spots for amateur champions in the Masters and Open Championship will still be forfeited if the player turns pro.
Four of the last 10 US Amateur champions and three of the last 10 US Women’s Amateur champions have turned professional before the US Open and therefore lost their spots.
Hovland was 4th at the Wyndham Championship and is yet to miss a cut as a professional after playing in five tournaments on the PGA Tour.
He will now tee it up in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals in his attempt to earn a card for next year.
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