Far Hills, New Jersey, United States: The United States Golf Association (USGA) has accepted a total of 9,877 entries for the 2016 US Open Championship at Oakmont Country Club.
The number of entries is third to the record 10,127 accepted for the 2014 US Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club’s Course No 2, and the 9,882 entries accepted for last year’s championship at Chambers Bay, in Washington.
Among this year’s total are 50 players, including 12 past champions, who are fully exempt into the field – including Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama.
The USGA accepted entries for the 116th US Open from golfers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 72 foreign countries.
“The number of entries received underlines the global appeal of the US Open Championship and the historical greatness of Oakmont Country Club,” said Stuart Francis, USGA Championship Committee Chairman. “We look forward to conducting local and sectional qualifying and to hosting the US Open at Oakmont for a record ninth time from June 16-19.”
To be eligible, a player must have a Handicap Index not exceeding 1.4 or be a professional. Local qualifying, which will be played over 18 holes at 111 sites in the United States, will take place between May 2-19.
Sectional qualifying, played over 36 holes, will be conducted on May 23 in Japan, on May 30 in England and on June 6 at 10 sites in the United States, ranging from New Jersey to California. This will be the 12th year with two international qualifiers, which were established in 2005.
Jordan Spieth, the 2015 champion, and 11 other champions are fully exempt from having to qualify for the championship. They are: Angel Cabrera (2007), Ernie Els (1994, 1997), Jim Furyk (2003), Lucas Glover (2009), Martin Kaymer (2014), Graeme McDowell (2010), Rory McIlroy (2011), Geoff Ogilvy (2006), Justin Rose (2013), Webb Simpson (2012) and Tiger Woods (2000, 2002, 2008).
Cabrera won the most recent US Open played at Oakmont, when he held off Furyk and Woods by one stroke in 2007. Among the previous Open champions at Oakmont are Ben Hogan (1953), Jack Nicklaus (1962), Johnny Miller (1973), Larry Nelson (1983) and Els (1994). Nicklaus defeated hometown hero Arnold Palmer in an 18-hole play-off for the first of his record 18 Major championships.
Miller shot a final-round 63 to defeat John Schlee by one stroke. Miller was the first player to shoot 63 in a Major, and it is still the lowest final-round score to win a Major championship.
For the sixth consecutive year, only online entries were accepted. The USGA received 620 entries on the last day applications were accepted (April 27), including 122 applications in the final hour.
Gordon Vietmeier, a 48-year-old professional from Pittsburgh, submitted his entry just 37 seconds before the deadline. Anthony Monica, a 33-year-old amateur from Panama City, was the first entrant when entries opened on March 9.
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 23 and June 13. The winners of The Players Championship (May 12-15) and European Tour BMW PGA Championship (May 26-29) will also earn exemptions.
This year marks the eighth time – and the fifth in a row – that the USGA has accepted more than 9,000 entries for the US Open.
The first time was in 2005, when 9,048 entries were accepted for the championship at Pinehurst No 2. A total of 9,086 golfers entered the 2009 championship at Bethpage State Park’s Black Course in New York. In 2010, 9,052 golfers entered the championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
The USGA accepted 9,006 entries for the 2012 US Open at The Olympic Club in San Francisco and 9,860 for the 2013 US Open at Merion Golf Club.
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