A few weeks ago we learned about the humble beginnings of the U.S. Open... Now where does it stand?
Since its inception in 1895, the U.S. Open has grown substantially and has evolved into one of the four major championships for PGA Tour players. The other championships are The Masters, PGA Championship and The British Open. The tournament's format is stroke play and was transitioned into four 18-hole daily rounds, in 1965.
How does one qualify for the U.S. Open?
Participants of the U.S. Open qualify through several qualifying tournaments. The first round is called local qualifiers. Local qualifiers take place in the summer months, usually ranging from late August through May. This past year (2018) there was 8,537 participants and only 500 made the cut. In order to enter a local qualifier, you need to have a USGA men's handicap of 1.4 or lower.
The second round consists of 12 courses, 860 players, and 78 players advancing. It is much more competitive than the local qualifiers and offers a major test for golfers all around the world. With matches in Japan, England, and through the United States, it truly is a test to bring the top talent to the U.S. Open.
What makes you exempt from qualifying?
There are 15 criteria that players have to meet in order to be exempt from qualifying. Each year, about half the field will be filled by players who are exempt from having to play in qualifying tournaments. Some of the notable exempt players going into the 2019 U.S. Open are Lucas Glover, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, and Jordan Spieth.
Some of the categories that give players exemption are winning the U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur, U.S. Junior Amateur, U.S. Mid-Amateur, and the Runner-up of the U.S. Amateur. Some of the other exemptions are winning the Mark H. HcCormack Medal and winning the Masters Tournament. A few other notable exemptions are winning the European Tour BMW PGA Championship or the U.S. Senior Open Championship. The rest of the pool is made up of the top 60 point leaders from the Official World Golf Ranking. Due to there being many exemptions, some categories were not noted. Please visit USGA.org if you are interested in reading more in depth.
Stakes are high as the U.S. Open returns to Pebble Beach for the 6th time in history
Get ready for this historic event to return to the famous Pebble Beach Golf Links! The 2019 U.S. Open marks the 6th time the tournament has taken place in Pebble Beach, Calif. Graeme McDowell, was the last golfer to win the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, with a score of even-par 284, back in 2010.
Fast forward to 2019 and the player pool reflects a much younger talent lineup. The player pool seems to keep getting younger and proves itself with the last 11 editions of the US Open having been won by players younger than 32.
Can Brooks Koepka pull off a 3-peat? Koepka has taken home the trophy for 2 consecutive years, the only player to do so since Curtis Strange in 1989.
Will the winner be someone new? Perhaps someone with unproven talent, like back in 2015, when 21-year-old Jordan Spieth won the U.S. Open and became the youngest player to ever hold both the Masters and U.S. Open titles in the same year.
Who is your pick to bring home the trophy in 2019 as the Open returns to Pebble Beach?