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USGA Receives Record Number of U.S. Open Entries
The United States Golf Association (USGA) has accepted a record number of entries for the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club's Course No. 2 in the Village of Pinehurst, N.C.
The total of 10,127 entrants eclipses the 9,860 for last year's championship at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. Among the record total are 51 players, including 12 past champions, who are currently fully exempt into the field (see list below).
"The number of entries, from across the world, affirms both the great appeal of playing in our national championship and the history surrounding Pinehurst No. 2," said Daniel B. Burton, USGA vice president and chairman of the Championship Committee. "We look forward to local and sectional qualifying and to conducting the unprecedented U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open in consecutive weeks at this renowned Donald Ross-designed course in June."
The U.S. Open will be held for the third time at Pinehurst No. 2 on June 12-15. To be eligible, a player must have a Handicap Index® not exceeding 1.4, or be a professional. Local qualifying will be played over 18 holes at 111 sites in the U.S. May 2-19.
Sectional qualifying, played over 36 holes, will be conducted on Monday, May 26 at two international sites (Japan and England) and on Monday, June 2, at 10 sites in the United States, ranging from New York to California. This will be the 10th year with two international qualifiers, which were established in 2005, the last time the U.S. Open was contested at Pinehurst No. 2.
Justin Rose, the 2013 champion, and 11 other champions are fully exempt from having to qualify for the championship. The other automatic qualifiers are Angel Cabrera (2007), Michael Campbell (2005), Ernie Els (1994, 1997), Jim Furyk (2003), Lucas Glover (2009), Retief Goosen (2001, '04), Graeme McDowell (2010), Rory McIlroy (2011), Geoff Ogilvy (2006), Webb Simpson (2012) and Tiger Woods (2000, '02, '08).
The USGA accepted entries for the 114th U.S. Open from golfers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 75 foreign countries. For the fourth consecutive year, only online entries were accepted. The USGA received 580 entries on the last day applications were accepted (April 23), including 115 applications in the final hour.
Travis Wells, who will be 15 years old on May 1 and is from Land O'Lakes, Fla., submitted his entry just 26 seconds before the deadline of 5 p.m. EDT. Jeff Lai, a 34-year-old amateur from Los Altos, Calif., was the first entrant when registration opened on March 5.
The number of fully exempt players will increase with the inclusion of the top-60 point leaders and ties from the Official World Golf Ranking, as of May 26 and June 9. The winners of the Players Championship (May 8-11) and European Tour BMW PGA Championship (May 22-25) will also earn exemptions.
This year marks the sixth time that the USGA accepted more than 9,000 entries for the U.S. Open. The first time was in 2005, when 9,048 entries were accepted for the championship at Pinehurst. A total of 9,086 golfers entered the 2009 championship at Bethpage State Park's Black Course in Farmingdale, N.Y. In 2010, 9,052 golfers entered the championship at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links. In 2012, the USGA accepted 9,006 entries for the U.S. Open at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, and the total of 9,860 for the 2013 championship at Merion broke the record from 2009 at Bethpage Black.
The list of the 51 golfers who are fully exempt into the 2014 U.S. Open (as of April 23):
bold -former champion
The above report is courtesy of the U.S. For more information, visit www.usga.org.