Liberty Corner, New Jersey, United States: The United States Golf Association (USGA) has accepted a total of 9,049 entries for the 2018 US Open Championship at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club.
The number of entries is the eighth-highest, behind the record of 10,127 accepted for the 2014 US Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club’s Course No 2.
Among this year’s total are 54 players, including 12 past champions, who are fully exempt into the field.
Only two Asians are guaranteed starting spots at the Long Island venue from June 14-17 – Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and Korean Kim Si-woo.
The USGA accepted entries for the 118th US Open from golfers in all 50 states, including 408 from New York, as well as the District of Columbia and 80 foreign countries.
“The continued worldwide interest in competing in the US Open Championship, golf’s ultimate test, remains significant,” said Stuart Francis, USGA Championship Committee Chairman. “We look forward to conducting local and sectional qualifying and to hosting the US Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, one of the five founding members of the USGA, for the fifth time.”
Brooks Koepka, the 2017 champion, and 11 other champions are fully exempt from having to qualify for the championship. They are: Ernie Els (1994, 1997), Jim Furyk (2003), Lucas Glover (2009), Dustin Johnson (2016), Martin Kaymer (2014), Graeme McDowell (2010), Rory McIlroy (2011), Justin Rose (2013), Webb Simpson (2012), Jordan Spieth (2015) and Tiger Woods (2000, 2002, 2008).
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 and one in Canada, will take place between April 30-May 17.
Sectional qualifying, played over 36 holes, will be conducted on May 21 in Japan; and on Monday, June 4 in England and at 10 sites in the United States, ranging from New Jersey to California. This will be the 14th year with two international qualifiers, which were established in 2005.
Shinnecock Hills Golf Club is the lone club to have hosted the US Open in three different centuries. In 1896, James Foulis won the second US Open with a three-stroke victory over Horace Rawlins. Raymond Floyd (1986) and Corey Pavin (1995) were US Open champions in the 20th century. Retief Goosen held off Phil Mickelson to win his second US Open in 2004.
For the eighth consecutive year, only online entries were accepted. The USGA received 515 entries on the last day applications were accepted (April 25), including 115 applications in the final hour.
Drew Caudill, a 32-year-old professional from Mount Vernon, Ohio, submitted his entry just 23 seconds before the deadline. Kyle Nakazaki, a 38-year-old professional from Manhattan Beach, was the first entrant when entries opened on March 7.
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 21 and June 11. The winners of The Players Championship (May 10-13) and European Tour BMW PGA Championship (May 24-27) will also earn exemptions.
In 2018, the USGA accepted more than 9,000 entries for the US Open for the 10th time overall and the seventh consecutive year. The 9,882 entries accepted for the 2015 championship at Chambers Bay is the second-most behind the 2014 championship at Pinehurst No 2.
The USGA accepted 9,877 entries for the 2016 US Open at Oakmont Country Club, and 9,860 for the 2013 US Open at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore. The 9,000-mark was reached for the first time in 2005, when 9,048 entries were accepted for the championship.