The United States Golf Association (USGA) has moved the US Open from its June date to September 17-20. It still intends the tournament to be held at Winged Foot Golf Club, the original venue for this year. If held as announced it will be the sixth time the US Open has been played at the Mamaroneck club.
“We are hopeful that postponing the championship will offer us the opportunity to mitigate health and safety issues while still providing us with the best opportunity to conduct the U.S. Open this year,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA in the release announcing the change. “We are incredibly thankful to the membership and staff at Winged Foot for their flexibility and support. We are also grateful for the wonderful collaboration among the professional tours and other majors in working through a complicated schedule.”
Still undetermined is whether spectators will be allowed on site and what other measures the USGA will take to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) predicted in a White House press conference in March that there will be another coronavirus outbreak in the fall, although he also expressed confidence that the nation will be better equipped to deal with it by then.
Also unknown is how players will actually qualify for the US Open, which last year drew 9,125 aspiring golfers who attempted to make it into the event through local qualifying tournaments that typically begin in April. The USGA cancelled the local qualifiers last month but stated this week that “Qualifying dates will be rescheduled over the next few weeks. It will be necessary for players who registered for Local and Final Qualifying to file a new application when the restructured qualifying plan is announced.”
The Whippoorwill Club in Armonk was scheduled to hold the local qualifying tournament on May 4, with Century CC and Old Oaks CC in Purchase slated to host the sectional qualifier on June 8.
PGA Tour players and others who are fully exempt will remain eligible to compete in the US Open, although there may be some adjustments to the field based on the cancellation of the PGA Tour schedule, and rescheduling of the Masters and PGA Championship.
In addition to the postponement of the US Open, the USGA canceled the US Senior Open and US Senior Women’s Open Championships for 2020. The Senior Women’s was set for Brooklawn CC in Fairfield, CT. The Senior Open sectional qualifier was to be played at Leewood GC in Eastchester and the Senior Women’s sectional had been scheduled for Sunningdale CC in Scarsdale.