A total of 9,485 entries have been accepted for the 2017 U.S. Open Championship at Erin Hills, in Erin, Wis. The U.S. Open will be held in the state of Wisconsin for the first time on June 15-18.
The number of entries is fifth-highest, behind the record of 10,127 accepted for the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club’s Course No. 2. Among this year’s total are 51 players, including 11 past champions, who are fully exempt into the field.
The USGA accepted entries for the 117th U.S. Open from golfers in all 50 states, including 150 from Wisconsin, as well as the District of Columbia and 66 foreign countries.
“The number of entries received underscores the worldwide interest in competing in the U.S. Open Championship and on golf’s grandest stage,” said Stuart Francis, USGA Championship Committee chairman. “We look forward to conducting local and sectional qualifying and to hosting the U.S. Open at both Erin Hills and in Wisconsin for the first time on June 15-18.”
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 113 sites in the United States and one in Canada, will take place between May 2-18.
Sectional qualifying, played over 36 holes, will be conducted on Monday, May 22, in Japan; on Monday, May 29, in England; and on Monday, June 5, at 10 sites in the United States, ranging from New Jersey to California. This will be the 13th year with two international qualifiers, which were established in 2005.
Dustin Johnson, the 2016 champion, and 10 other champions are fully exempt from having to qualify for the championship. They are: Angel Cabrera (2007), Ernie Els (1994, 1997), Jim Furyk (2003), Lucas Glover (2009), Martin Kaymer (2014), Graeme McDowell (2010), Rory McIlroy (2011), Justin Rose (2013), Webb Simpson (2012) and Jordan Spieth (2015).
In addition to being the first U.S. Open hosted in Wisconsin, the championship returns to the Midwest for the first time since 2003 when Furyk won at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club. Erin Hills is hosting its third USGA championship, including the 2011 U.S. Amateur when Kelly Kraft defeated Patrick Cantlay, 2 up, in the 36-hole final. This year, Erin Hills will be the first par-72 U.S. Open course since 1992 and the ninth since World War II.
For the seventh consecutive year, only online entries were accepted. The USGA received 561 entries on the last day applications were accepted (April 26), including 125 applications in the final hour. Lance Richards, a 40-year-old professional from Saratoga Springs, Utah, submitted his entry just 11 seconds before the deadline of 5 p.m. EDT. David Zeisse, a 38-year-old professional from Milwaukee, Wis., who works as a caddie at Erin Hills, was the first entrant when entries opened on March 8.
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 22 and June 12. The winners of The Players Championship (May 11-14) and European Tour BMW PGA Championship (May 25-28) will also earn exemptions.
In 2017, the USGA accepted more than 9,000 entries for the U.S. Open for the ninth time overall and the sixth consecutive year. The first time was in 2005, when 9,048 entries were accepted for the championship at Pinehurst No. 2. A total of 9,086 golfers entered the 2009 championship at Bethpage State Park’s Black Course, in Farmingdale, N.Y. In 2010, 9,052 golfers entered the championship at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links. The USGA accepted 9,006 entries for the 2012 U.S. Open at The Olympic Club (Lake Course), in San Francisco, Calif., and 9,860 for the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, in Ardmore, Pa. The 9,882 entries accepted for the 2015 championship at Chambers Bay, in University Place, Wash., is the second-most behind the 2014 championship at Pinehurst No. 2.