Sunday, May 18, 2014

How Golfers Qualify for the U.S. Open

The U.S. Open is one of the four major golf championships played at various golf courses. This is a golf championship that has more open qualification than that of the Masters. Whilst the Masters invites the top 50 ranked PGA golfers, the U.S. Open includes up to 156 in the championship.

By default the top 60 ranked golfers qualify for the U.S. Open a few weeks before they play in it. Previously it was the top 50 ranked golfers, but that has now been expanded. As such, the top 60 in the PGA rankings amount for 38% of the overall number of players in the championship.

The previous winners of some PGA Tour championships also qualify for the Open. U.S. Open champions from the last 10 championships all qualify to play in it, and the top 10 from the previous Open are also included. As such, winning it once is a great way to ensure further qualification. In addition to this, the winners of the previous five majors such as the Masters, the U.K. Open and PGA Championship all qualify for the U.S. Open.

Aside from the majors, the U.S. Open includes the winners of the previous three PGA Championships. The winner from the previous BMW PGA Championship also qualifies. Amateur golfers that win either the previous U.S Amateur Championship, or U.K. Amateur Championship, qualify for the Open. Those that played in the previous year's Tour Championship are also included in the U.S. Open.

However, for those that aren't PGA Tour players, the road to the U.S. Open usually begins with local qualification. The first step of qualification is played over 18 holes at over 100 U.S. golf courses. A handful of those that begin at local qualification usually reach the U.S. Open. Several players, at each site, usually qualify from the sectional qualifiers.

The second, and last, stage of U.S. Open qualification is that of the sectional qualifiers. They are international qualifiers that take place at 11 U.S. golf courses, one in England and in Japan. They are played over 36 holes, with only a few number of qualifying spots at each of the sites. The number of U.S. Open spots at the sites varies depending on the number of players they have. In 2013, the number of spots at each site ranged from nine to two.

Those that qualify from the sectional qualifiers then join the rest of the PGA Tour players at the U.S. Open. A couple of golfers that qualified from the local and sectional stages have won the U.S. Open. However, the top ranked PGA golfers dominate, and usually win, the U.S. Open.

The 2014 U.S. Open will be played at Pinehurt's No 2 golf course. The local and sectional qualification stages whittled 9,860 golfers down to 156 final contenders for the 2014 U.S. Open championship title. They will be further cut to 60 after 36 holes at the No 2 course. Check out the U.S. Open website for further details on the championship.

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