The USGA is proceeding with playing the 2020 US Women's Open at Champions Golf Club in Houston from Dec. 10-13, albeit without holding qualifiers that often determine approximately 50 percent of the field.
The field will be completely based on exemption criteria, which the USGA had to reimagine to not only expand the number of players who would qualify automatically but also to account for the global pause in professional golf.
“We are extremely pleased to still provide the world’s best professional and amateur players the opportunity to compete for this historic championship, despite forgoing qualifying,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director for championships.
“After carefully examining previous years, these exemption categories allow us to closely mirror a traditional field, and we are excited to witness one of these players win what will truly be a milestone 75th US Women’s Open.”
The exemption list begins with typical US Women's Open exemptions, for past champions of USGA championships and other major. Then the USGA expanded its exemption for top players in the Rolex Women's World Golf Ranking to the top 75, and they made that exemption cutoff based on the March 16 ranking, when it was frozen.
Players competing on the Symetra Tour and Ladies European Tour will be able to earn spots through their play in the current season, as will players in a variety of LPGA Tour events.
The top money earners on overseas tours last year have locked up spots, too.
Also, the USGA carved out 20 spots for amateurs based on their standing in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. With around two dozen amateurs typically earning spots in the field, this exemption should assure that amateur presence.
The new entry period for the event is from Oct. 7 through Nov. 11 at 5 p.m. EDT.
2020 US Women's Open exemption criteria
- Winners of the U.S. Women’s Open Championship for the last 10 years
- The top 10 and ties from the 2019 US Women's Open
- Winner of the 2019 US women's Amateur
- Winners of the 2019 U.S. Girls’ Junior and U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championships, and the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur runner-up (must be an amateur)
- Winners of the ANA Inspiration Championship in the last five years
- Winners of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in the last five years
- Winners of the Evian Championship in the last five years
- Winners of the AIG Women’s British Open in the last five years
- The top 30 points leaders from the 2019 LPGA Race to the CME Globe final points list
- Winners of LPGA Tour co-sponsored official events from the conclusion of the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open to the originally scheduled 2020 U.S. Women’s Open (June 1-7)
- Winner of the 2019 Women’s Amateur Championship conducted by The R&A (must be an amateur)
- Winner of the 2019 Mark H. McCormack Medal (Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking; must be an amateur)
- The top 10 money leaders, not otherwise exempt, on the 2020 LPGA Tour money list through the close of entries (Nov. 11, 2020)
- The top five money leaders, not otherwise exempt, from the 2020 Symetra Tour money list through the close of entries (Nov. 11, 2020)
- The top 75 points leaders and ties from the Rolex Women's World Golf Ranking as of March 16
- The top five Ladies European Tour (LET) members from the final 2019 LET Order of Merit and the top five money leaders from the final 2019 Japan LPGA and Korea LPGA Tours
- Top three money leaders from the 2019 China LPGA Tour
- The top two players, not otherwise exempt, in the top 10 and ties of the 2020 NW Arkansas Championship, Cambria Portland Classic, ShopRite Classic, and the top three players, not otherwise exempt, in the top 10 and ties of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship
- From the Nov. 4, 2020 Women's World Amateur Golf Ranking, the top 20 point leaders within the top 100 in the ranking that apply to play and are not otherwise exempt as of Nov. 4, 2020. (Must have filed an entry by Nov. 11, 2020 and still be an amateur)
- Special exemptions, including maternity extensions, as selected by the USGA