Why This Year's US Open Will Not Officially Be An Open

The USGA has scrapped qualifying for the US Open due to the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning it will essentially be an invitational

Winged Foot West Course 9th hole
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The USGA has scrapped qualifying for the US Open due to the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning it will essentially be an invitational

Why This Year's US Open Will Not Officially Be An Open

This year's US Open will not officially be an 'open' after the USGA announced that there would be no qualifying for the event due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The tournament is still set to get underway at Winged Foot in New York on the postponed date of 17th September.

The USGA has now cancelled most of its tournaments this year barring the US Open, US Women's Open, US Amateur and US Women's Amateur.

All four events will not feature any qualifying because, as the USGA says, "conducting hundreds of qualifiers across the country was not seen as a viable option."

This means that the fields will be assembled by exemptions only, essentially turning the events into 'invitationals' as oppose to 'opens'.

The US Open usually has local qualifying events before final Sectional Qualifying, which is hosted at 15 sites including Walton Heath in Surrey as well as Japan, Canada and all across the USA.

In 2005, Michael Campbell qualified at Walton Heath and then went on to win the US Open at Pinehurst.

“As you can imagine, this was an incredibly difficult decision, as qualifying is a cornerstone of USGA championships,” said John Bodenhamer, senior managing director of Championships for the USGA.

“We take great pride in the fact that many thousands typically enter to pursue their dream of qualifying for a USGA championship and we deeply regret that they will not have that opportunity this year. But this structure provides the best path forward for us to conduct these championships in 2020.”

The USGA has not yet decided whether to allow fans to attend the US Open in September.

"We have not yet made a final determination regarding whether spectators will be able to attend the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot Golf Club, the USGA PR department announced.

"Given the realities of the pandemic, we are recreating the entire championship experience for everyone involved.

"We appreciate and understand everyone's questions and will provide more information as soon as possible."

The US Open is set to take place a week prior to the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, and it is still unknown whether fans will be allowed to attend or not.

The PGA Tour gets back up-and-running next month with at least the first four tournaments taking place without crowds.

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Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV