The changes were voted and agreed upon by the Association’s Championship Committee.
The United States Golf Association (USGA) has announced a variety of changes to exemption categories for its national championships that will be implemented over the next two years.
The changes, which were voted and agreed upon by the Association’s Championship Committee, will affect exemptions for both local and sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open and sectional qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Open. The Committee also approved changes in exemptions for players in amateur championships.
One full exemption category has been added for the 2011 U.S. Open. The top 50 point leaders from the current Official World Golf Ranking as of June 13, 2011, will be fully exempt. This is in addition to the top 50 point leaders as of May 23, 2011, effectively giving players a second chance to earn a spot in the field.
“This change was in direct response to the unfortunate situation that has occurred in the past where a few of the top 50 players missed playing in the Open due to the timing cutoff required for sectional qualifying,” said O’Toole. “For instance, last year both Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler were victims of this scenario.”
One exemption category for the 2011 U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open has been revised. Previously, the lowest 15 scorers and ties from the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open received a full exemption into the following year’s championship. Starting with the 2011 U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open, that number has been reduced to 10 and ties at both championships. “Players at both the 2010 U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open were notified in their memo to contestants that the change would be made to top 10 and ties for 2011 and beyond, so they were aware of that when they played in the championships,” said O’Toole.
Among the changes that will go into effect for the 2012 U.S. Open is the elimination of full exemptions based on money lists from the PGA Tour, PGA European Tour and various other professional tours around the world.
While the USGA will move toward using the Official World Golf Ranking for exemptions into the U.S. Open field, it will continue to use money lists to determine exemptions into the U.S. Women’s Open. However, in 2011 the number of players from the LPGA Tour money list who are fully exempt has been increased from 50 to 70.
Changes have also been made regarding exemptions into the USGA’s 10 amateur championships, including the addition of several international amateur champions in the fields. Also, the top 50 from the World Amateur Golf Ranking will be exempt into all men’s amateur championships.
For a full list of the changes for the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and amateur championships, along with an explanation of the changes and the dates each change will take effect, visit: www.usga.org.