The 2017 U.S. Open field offers few exemptions and forces players who aren’t exempt to qualify through the most rigorous, difficult qualifying process in the game. If not exempt, players must make their way through a 36-hole sectional qualifier, if not an 18-hole local qualifier before that.
A golfer has to be one of the best on the planet to qualify for the U.S. Open. They can get a U.S. Open exemption if they meet one of 18 criteria to get an invitation.
U.S. Open qualifying and exemption categories
- Winners of the U.S. Open Championship the last ten years
- Winner and runner-up of the 2016 U.S. Amateur Championship (must be an amateur)
- Winner of the 2016 British Amateur Championship (must be an amateur)
- Winner of the 2016 Mark H. McCormack Medal (top-ranked in Men’s World Amateur Golf Rankings; must be an amateur)
- Winners of the Masters Tournament the last five years
- Winners of the British Open Championship the last five years
- Winners of the PGA of America Championship the last five years
- Winners of the Players Championship the last three years
- Winner of the 2017 European Tour BMW PGA Championship
- Winner of the 2016 U.S. Senior Open Championship
- From the 2016 U.S. Open Championship, the 10 lowest scorers and anyone tying for 10th place
- The 2016 Olympic men’s golf gold medalist
- Players qualifying for the season-ending 2016 Tour Championship
- From the current official World Golf Rankings, the top 60 point leaders and ties as of May 22, 2017
- From the current official World Golf Rankings, the top 60 point leaders and ties as of June 12, 2017
- Special exemptions as selected by the USGA
- Sectional qualifiers for the U.S. Open
These exemption categories are always evolving and occasionally change, but they tend to stay in place for years at a time.