The USGA has accepted a total of 9,069 entries for the 121st U.S. Open Championship on the South Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, Calif. The U.S. Open will be held at the public course for the second time on June 17-20, 2021.
More than 9,000 U.S. Open entries were received for the ninth consecutive time and the 12th time overall. The USGA accepted entries for the 2021 U.S. Open from golfers in all 50 states, including 1,222 from host state California, as well as the District of Columbia and 70 foreign countries.
“There continues to be great interest from around the world, based on the number of entries, in competing in the U.S. Open Championship,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director of Championships. “We are pleased that we can return to conducting two-stage qualifying for the U.S. Open, a democratic and inclusive process that is unique in major championship golf, and we look forward to hosting the final field of 156 players at Torrey Pines in June.”
Additionally, Long Cove Club, on Hilton Head Island, S.C., will be a U.S. Open final qualifying site on Monday, June 7. The site is being added to accommodate players who are competing in the PGA Tour’s Palmetto Championship at Congaree, to be held at Congaree Golf Club, in Ridgeland, S.C., from June 10-13. That event replaced the canceled RBC Canadian Open on the tour’s schedule. Long Cove Club, which will also host U.S. Open local qualifying on May 10, has been the site of two USGA championships, the 1991 U.S. Mid-Amateur and 2003 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur.
Final qualifying, played over 36 holes, will be conducted at 10 U.S. sites. One is set for Monday, May 24, in Texas, while nine are scheduled on June 7: two in Ohio and one each in California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New York, South Carolina and Washington. Japan and Canada will host international final qualifying on May 24 and June 7, respectively. England will not host a site this year, but an exemption category has been added based on the three-event U.S. Open 2021 European Tour Qualifying Series (May 15-June 6). The top 10 aggregate point earners from those events, who are otherwise not exempt, will earn a place in the U.S. Open field.
Bryson DeChambeau, who joined Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only golfers to win the U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur and an NCAA individual title with his six-stroke victory at Winged Foot Golf Club last September, leads the list of 48 players who are fully exempt into the field (see list below). DeChambeau will seek to become the eighth man to win consecutive U.S. Opens.
Joining DeChambeau are eight other U.S. Open champions who are fully exempt from having to qualify: Dustin Johnson (2016), Martin Kaymer (2014), Brooks Koepka (2017, 2018), Rory McIlroy (2011), Justin Rose (2013), Webb Simpson (2012), Jordan Spieth (2015) and Gary Woodland (2019).
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 108 sites in the United States and two in Canada, will take place between April 26-May 18.
Michael Busse, a professional from Rochester, Mich., submitted his entry just 14 seconds before the deadline of 5 p.m. EDT on April 21. Kaleb Palm, an amateur from Orlando, Fla., was the first entrant on Feb. 24.
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 24 and June 7. The winner of the PGA Championship (May 20-23) and any multiple winners of PGA Tour events that award a full-point allocation for the season-ending Tour Championship will also earn exemptions.
In 2008, the South Course at Torrey Pines hosted one of the most dramatic U.S. Opens when Woods outdueled Rocco Mediate in a 19-hole playoff to win his third U.S. Open title 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 of regulation play.
The list of the 48 golfers who are fully exempt into the 2021 U.S. Open (as of April 21):
Bold – U.S. Open champion; a-amateur