Here's how the USGA is filling out the fields for the 2020 U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women's Amateur

Ryan Herrington
Golf Digest

It’s OK to be disappointed with the fact there will be no USGA qualifying tournaments for golfers to play their way into the U.S. Women’s Amateur and U.S. Amateur in 2020 due to the coronavirus. However, it beats the alternative—not having the championships at all. On Wednesday, USGA officials announced more specifics on their alternative plans to hold the 120th edition of each tournament later this summer, including the exemption categories that will be used to determine the fields.

“Making the decision to forgo qualifying for our championships this year was extremely difficult, but we’re glad to be able to continue the legacy of these competitions and provide the best amateur players in the world the opportunity to compete for a USGA title,” said John Bodenhamer, senior managing director, Championships. “We aimed to create fields that most closely resemble those for a typical Amateur and Women’s Amateur, and are confident we will crown two worthy champions in August.”

Both championships, which along with the U.S. Open and Womens Open were the USGA events not canceled for 2020, will rely primarily on expanded use of the World Amateur Golf Ranking to fill out much of their fields. For the U.S. Women’s Amateur, set for Aug. 3-9 at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md., 132 golfers will be competing (down from the usual 156) with the top 75 on the WAGR as of June 24 getting in. For the men’s championship, to be held Aug. 10-16 at Bandon (Ore.) Dunes Golf Resort, the 264-player field (down from 312) will include the top 225 on the WAGR as of June 24.

You are using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer. Please upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 or use a different web browser.

The June 24 cutoff date has been set to assist the USGA in coordinating the logistics of the event, including travel for players who live in the United States, as well as any coming from foreign countries. It’s also been set out this early to provide all participants ample time to review safety protocols that will be in place for the championships.

All players competing in each championship will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing before the competition, as will any caddies or other individuals traveling with the player. Specifics on the testing protocols will be detailed at a later date.

Players will be allowed to be accompanied by up to two people to the championship (no general spectators will be allowed at their event). They must be either parents, guardians, siblings or a caddie, who also counts toward the two-person max.

“We are extremely grateful to state and local government officials in both Maryland and Oregon for their cooperation and partnership in working through logistics for these championships,” said Bodenhamer. “We are all facing new parameters brought on by current realities and will continue to partner with all parties as we navigate conducting these amateur championships under new guidelines.”

RELATED: The 15 best U.S. Opens, ranked

2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur
2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur

2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur

Gabriela Ruffels watches a putt fall en route to willing the title at the 2019 U.S. Women's Amateur at Old Waverly Golf Club in Mississippi.

Photo by: Steven Gibbons

Steven Gibbons

Gabriela Ruffels watches a putt fall en route to willing the title at the 2019 U.S. Women's Amateur at Old Waverly Golf Club in Mississippi.

Other exempt categories include past performance in other USGA and major international amateur competitions. Among the notable distinctions: All players who made match play in last year's U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst will be exempt, as will any player who reached the second round of match play at last year's Women's Amateur at Old Wavery. (A complete list of the criteria for both championships can be found below).

Both championships will allocate a certain number of spots in the field for players of a certain age. For the Women’s Amateur, the top 20 players off the WAGR who are 19 or younger as of Aug. 9 will be exempt into the championship, reflecting the large number of junior players who have qualified for the Women’s Amateur in recent years. On the men’s side, the top 25 players off the WAGR who are 25 or older before Aug. 10 will gain entry.

While there are no formal USGA qualifiers for the championships, there is still a way golfers can “play” their way into both events. The winner and runner-up in this summer’s Women’s North & South, Women’s Western Amateur and Ladies National Golf Association Championship will have spots held for them. Similarly, on the men’s side, winners and runners-up from the North & South, Western, Southern and Sunnehanna Amateur earn exemptions.

If the fields are not filled entirely from the exemption categories, remaining spots will be filled from an alternate list based on WAGR.

All exempt players must still file an application for entry into the event, with the process opening on June 26 and closing on July 8.

RELATED: Why U.S. Amateur champ Andy Ogletree's return home meant so much

U.S. Women’s Amateur Exemption Categories

Players in the following categories are eligible for exemption into the 120th U.S. Women's Amateur Championship. Exempt players who wish to participate in the Championship must file a Championship Entry Application by July 8 at 5 p.m. EDT. (NOTE: Blank entries will be filed by the USGA for players who become exempt after close of entries.)

  • Winners of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship the last 10 years (2010-2019)

  • Runners-up of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship the last three years (2017-2019)

  • Semifinalists of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship the last two years (2018-2019)

  • Round of 32 from the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship

  • Any player who qualified for the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open Championship

  • From the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, winners in 2016-2019; runners-up in 2018-2019 and round of 16 in 2019.

  • From the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, winners in 2016-2019; runners-up in 2018-2019 and semifinalists in 2019.

  • From the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, winners in 2016-2019 and runners-up in 2018-2019

  • Winners of the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship

  • Playing members of the United States and Great Britain & Ireland Curtis Cup Teams, four year exemption once appointed to the team (2018).

  • Playing members of the two most current United States Women’s World Amateur Teams (2016 & 2018)

  • Winners of The Women’s Amateur Championship (five-year exemption) (2016-2019).

  • Winner of the 2019 European Ladies’ Amateur Championship.

  • Winner of the 2020 Women’s Mexican International Amateur Championship.

  • Winners and runners-up of the 2020 North & South Women’s Amateur and Women’s Western Amateur Championship, and winner and runner-up (including ties) of the 2020 Ladies National Golf Association Championship.

  • From the current Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking/WAGR, the top 75-ranked players as of June 24, 2020. Players exempt under this category must file an entry prior to the close of entries.

  • From the current Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking /WAGR, the top 20-ranked players using the WAGR Age Filter as of June 24, 2020. Players cannot be age 19 on or before August 9, 2020. Player’s WAGR profile must include date of birth to be considered for this exemption category. Must have filed an entry prior to the close of entries.

U.S. Amateur Exemption Categories

Players in the following categories are eligible for exemption into the 120th U.S. Amateur Championship. Exempt players who wish to participate in the Championship must file a Championship Entry Application entry by July 8 at 5 p.m. EDT. (NOTE: Blank entries will be filed by the USGA for players who become exempt after close of entries.)

  • Winners of the U.S. Amateur Championship the last ten years (2010-2019)

  • Runners-up of the U.S. Amateur Championship the last three years (2017-2019)

  • Semifinalists of the U.S. Amateur Championship the last two years (2018-2019)

  • Round of 64 from the 2019 U.S. Amateur Championship

  • Any player who qualified for the 2019 U.S. Open Championship

  • From the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, winners in 2016-2019; runners-up in 2018-2019 and quarterfinalists in 2019.

  • From the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, winners in 2016-2019; runners-up in 2018-2019 and quarterfinalists in 2019.

  • From the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship, winners in 2016-2019 and runners-up in 2018-2019.

  • Winners of the 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship

  • Playing members of the United States and Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup Teams, four year exemption once appointed to the team (2017 & 2019).

  • Playing members of the two most current United States World Amateur Teams (2016 & 2018)

  • Winners of The Amateur Championship (five year exemption) (2016-2019)

  • Winners of the most current Asia-Pacific Amateur and Latin America Amateur Championships.

  • Winners and runners-up of the 2020 North & South Amateur and Western Amateur Championship, and winners and runners-up (including ties) of the 2020 Southern Amateur and Sunnehanna Amateur Championships.

  • From the current Men’s World Amateur Golf Ranking/WAGR the top 225-ranked players as of June 24, 2020. Players exempt under this category must file an entry prior to the close of entries.

  • From the current Men’s World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), the top 25-ranked players using the WAGR Age Filter as of June 24, 2020. Players must be age 25 on or before August 10, 2020. Player’s WAGR profile must include date of birth to be considered for this exemption category. Must have filed an entry prior to the close of entries.

What to Read Next