Due to COVID-19, the 2020 US Open field will this year be comprised entirely of exempt players and Kiwi Ryan Fox is one of those automatically accepted into the field.
After winning the 2019 Australasian Order of Merit, Fox will be invited to fill a spot in the field to be played at Winged Foot Golf Club, in Mamaroneck, New York from September 17 to 20.
In announcing the decision to cancel local and final qualifying for the event, US Open senior managing director for the Championships John Bodenhamer said the tournament was still pleased to provide the world’s best professional and amateur players the opportunity to compete for this historic and coveted championship.
“The exemption categories for this year’s championship at Winged Foot Golf Club were carefully developed to mirror a representative U.S. Open field, and we are excited that players will still have an opportunity to earn a place in the field through a variety of categories,” Bodenhamer said.
In addition to the customary U.S. Open exemptions, the 2020 field will include the top 70 point leaders and ties from the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), as of March 15, instead of the usual top 60. Players who are not already exempt can earn places by their performances in the following events on the PGA Tour schedule: The Memorial, 3M Open, WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, Barracuda Championship and Wyndham Championship, as well as the PGA Championship (Aug. 6-9).
This year, exemption categories will include the PGA Tour’s FedExCup final points list (top 5), the Korn Ferry Tour’s regular-season points and finals (top 5 in each), the European Tour’s UK Swing (top 10 in aggregate points for first five events) and the PGA Professional Championship (top 3). Final 2019 Order of Merit categories for the Japan Golf Tour, Sunshine Tour, Asian Tour and Australasia Tour will help to round out the field of 144 players.
An average of 15 amateurs have competed in the last five U.S. Opens and at least 10 amateurs have competed in 12 of the past 13, including 2018 U.S. Amateur champion Viktor Hovland, who tied for 12th last year at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links. The World Amateur Golf Ranking® will be utilized to round out the amateur contingent at Winged Foot, as the top seven point leaders who are not otherwise exempt as of Aug. 19 will be added to the six amateurs who are currently exempt.
Eleven U.S. Open champions currently meet exemption categories, including three-time winner Tiger Woods (2000, 2002, 2008), Brooks Koepka, who claimed back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018, and Gary Woodland, who won last year at Pebble Beach. Joining Woods, Koepka and Woodland are: Lucas Glover (2009), Dustin Johnson (2016), Martin Kaymer (2014), Graeme McDowell (2010), Rory McIlroy (2011), Justin Rose (2013), Webb Simpson (2012) and Jordan Spieth (2015).
See the full list of exemptions here.