Here’s how the USGA is filling out the fields for the 2020 U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur

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It’s OK to be disappointed with the fact there will be no USGA qualifying tournaments for golfers to play their way into the U.S. Women’s Amateur and U.S. Amateur in 2020 due to the coronavirus. However, it beats the alternative—not having the championships at all. On Wednesday, USGA officials announced more specifics on their alternative plans to hold the 120th edition of each tournament later this summer, including the exemption categories that will be used to determine the fields.

“Making the decision to forgo qualifying for our championships this year was extremely difficult, but we’re glad to be able to continue the legacy of these competitions and provide the best amateur players in the world the opportunity to compete for a USGA title,” said John Bodenhamer, senior managing director, Championships. “We aimed to create fields that most closely resemble those for a typical Amateur and Women’s Amateur, and are confident we will crown two worthy champions in August.”

Both championships will rely primarily on expanded use of the World Amateur Golf Ranking to fill out much of their fields. For the U.S. Women’s Amateur, set for Aug. 3-9 at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md., 132 golfers will be competing (down from the usual 156) with the top 75 on the WAGR as of June 24 getting. For the men’s championship, to be held Aug. 10-16 at Bandon (Ore.) Dunes Golf Resort, the 264-player field (down from 312) will include the top 225 on the WAGR as of June 24.

The June 24 cutoff date has been set to assist the USGA in coordinating the logistics of the event, including travel for players who live in the United States, as well as any coming from foreign countries. It’s also been set out this early to provide all participants ample time to review safety protocols that will be in place for the championships.

All players competing in each championship will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing before the competition, as will any caddies or other individuals traveling with the player. Specifics on the testing protocols will be detailed at a later date.

Players will be allowed to be accompanied by up to two people to the championship (no general spectators will be allowed at their event). They must be either parents, guardians, siblings or a caddie, who also counts toward the two-person max.

“We are extremely grateful to state and local government officials in both Maryland and Oregon for their cooperation and partnership in working through logistics for these championships,” said Bodenhamer. “We are all facing new parameters brought on by current realities and will continue to partner with all parties as we navigate conducting these amateur championships under new guidelines.”

Other exempt categories include past performance in other USGA and major international amateur competitions. Among the notable distinctions: All players who made match play in last year’s U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst will be exempt as will any player who reached the second round of match play at last year’s Women’s Amateur at Old Wavery. (A complete list of the criteria for both championships can be found below).

Both championships will allocate a certain number of spots in the field for players of a certain age. For the Women’s Amateur, the top 20 players off the WAGR who are 19 or younger as of Aug. 9 will be exempt into the championship, reflecting the large number of junior players who have qualified for the Women’s Amateur in recent years. On the men’s side, the top 25 players off the WAGR who are 25 or older before Aug. 10 will gain entry.

While there are no formal USGA qualifiers for the championships, there is still a way golfers can “play” their way into both events. The winner and runner-up in this summer’s Women’s North & South, Women’s Western Amateur and Ladies National Golf Association Championship will have spots held for them. Similarly, on the men’s side, winners and runners-up from the North & South, Western, Southern and Sunnehanna Amateur earn exemptions.

If the fields are not filled entirely from the exemption categories, remaining spots will be filled from an alternate list based on WAGR.

All exempt players must still file an application for entry into the event, with the process opening on June 26 and closing on July 8.

U.S. Women’s Amateur Exemption Categories

Players in the following categories are eligible for exemption into the 120th U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. Exempt players who wish to participate in the Championship must file a Championship Entry Application by July 8 at 5 p.m. EDT. (NOTE: Blank entries will be filed by the USGA for players who become exempt after close of entries.)

U.S. Amateur Exemption Categories

Players in the following categories are eligible for exemption into the 120th U.S. Amateur Championship. Exempt players who wish to participate in the Championship must file a Championship Entry Application entry by July 8 at 5 p.m. EDT. (NOTE: Blank entries will be filed by the USGA for players who become exempt after close of entries.)

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