Road to the U.S. Open
Each year, thousands of competitors enter the U.S. Open. They are professionals and amateurs, teenagers and seniors, All-Americans and walk-ons, teachers and firemen. No matter their background, what they have in common is the dream of teeing it up in the national championship.
The game's most democratic major championship, the U.S. Open offers an opportunity to play on golf's biggest stage alongside golf's biggest names, thanks to the two-stage qualification process that will decide who will make it to Merion Golf Club, in Ardmore, Pa., for the 113th playing of the national championship.
The process of determining a field of 156 players from some 9,000 entrants - professionals and amateurs with a Handicap Index not exceeding 1.4 - is a major undertaking, and the United States Golf Association relies heavily on state and regional golf associations to conduct qualifiers within their jurisdictions for both stages of qualifying, local and sectional.
The road to the U.S. Open begins with 18-hole local qualifying at 111 sites around the country between May 3 and May 16. Players advancing from local qualifying join exempt players into 36-hole sectional qualifying, taking place in England and Japan on May 27, and at 11 sites in the U.S. on June 3.
Those surviving qualifying have a chance to make history by etching their names on the U.S. Open trophy, alongside legends like Bob Jones, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus. This opportunity, reflected in the qualifying process, is what makes the U.S. Open the most democratic championship in golf.