An additional 27 golfers, including major champions Adam Scott and Bubba Watson, have earned full exemptions into the 2021 U.S. Open Championship, to be played June 17-20 on the South Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course, in San Diego, Calif. These exemptions bring the number of fully exempt players to 76.
Exemptions were awarded to 24 players who earned a place in the top 60 of the Official World Golf Ranking® (OWGR) as of May 24, who were not otherwise exempt. Scott, who will compete in his 20th U.S. Open, won the 2013 Masters Tournament. He is ranked No. 39. Watson, the 2012 and 2014 Masters champion, is ranked No. 58. It will be Watson’s 15th U.S. Open. Brian Harman and Tommy Fleetwood, who were U.S. Open runners-up in 2017 and 2018, respectively, also earned entry through the OWGR. Fleetwood is No. 31 and Harman is No. 49.
The other players who earned full exemptions through the current Official World Golf Ranking are: Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Sam Burns, Patrick Cantlay, Paul Casey, Corey Conners, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Russell Henley, Garrick Higgo, Max Homa, Matt Jones, Si Woo Kim, Jason Kokrak, Matt Kuchar, K.H. Lee, Robert MacIntyre, Carlos Ortiz, Victor Perez, Kevin Streelman, Matt Wallace and Lee Westwood. Kuchar (1997) and Fitzpatrick (2013) are past U.S. Amateur champions.
At No. 15, Cantlay is the highest-ranked player in the current OWGR who was not previously exempt into the U.S. Open. He will play in his sixth U.S. Open. Phil Mickelson, who on May 14 accepted a special exemption from the USGA into this year’s U.S. Open, moved up 83 spots from his previous world ranking to No. 32 by winning the PGA Championship on Sunday for his sixth professional major. Mickelson, a six-time U.S. Open runner-up, will be competing in his 30th U.S. Open and is now exempt through 2025.
Three other players earned exemptions based on their performances on other professional tours. Wade Ormsby was the top finisher on the 2020 Asian Tour Final Order of Merit. Brad Kennedy earned his spot as the top finisher on the 2020 ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia Final Order of Merit. Wilco Nienaber is currently the leading player on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit.
In addition, the top 10 aggregate point earners, who are otherwise not exempt, in the three-event U.S. Open 2021 European Tour Qualifying Series (May 15-June 6) will earn places in the U.S. Open. Any multiple winners of PGA Tour events that award a full-point allocation for the season-ending Tour Championship will also earn an exemption. The number of fully exempt golfers may increase with the addition of the top 60 players from the OWGR as of Monday, June 7.
The first of 10 U.S. final qualifiers for the 2021 U.S. Open is being held today, May 24, in Dallas, Texas. Japan completed their 36-hole international qualifier earlier today.
Final qualifying in the United States, at 36 holes, will take place at nine additional sites on June 7. The sites are: Rolling Hills Country Club, Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.; The Bear’s Club, Jupiter, Fla.; Piedmont Driving Club, Atlanta, Ga.; Woodmont Country Club (North Course), Rockville, Md.; Century Country Club & Old Oaks Country Club, Purchase, N.Y.; Brookside Golf & Country Club & The Lakes Golf & Country Club, Columbus, Ohio; Springfield (Ohio) Country Club; Long Cove Club, Hilton Head Island, S.C.; and Meadow Springs Country Club, Richland, Wash.
The South Course at Torrey Pines is hosting its second U.S. Open. One of the most dramatic U.S. Opens was contested there in 2008 when Tiger Woods outdueled Rocco Mediate in a 19-hole playoff to win his third U.S. Open and record-tying ninth USGA championship. Woods made par on the first extra hole after the two were tied following an 18-hole playoff. Woods had forced the playoff by making a 12-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole.