With qualification canceled, here's how to fill out the U.S. Open field

Brentley Romine
Golf Channel

With the USGA scrapping qualifying for this year’s U.S. Open, the field for Sept. 17-20 at Winged Foot will be entirely exempt.

“As you can imagine, this was an incredibly difficult decision, as qualifying is a cornerstone of USGA championships,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director of championships. “We take great pride in the fact that many thousands typically enter to pursue their dream of qualifying for a USGA championship and we deeply regret that they will not have that opportunity this year.”

USGA's Bodenhamer: 'Heartbreaking' for us to have to cancel our qualifiers

The USGA is expected to announce exemption categories for the U.S. Open as well as its remaining three 2020 championships (U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur) in the coming weeks.

But until then, it’s time to get a little creative.

With 50 players already qualified for this year’s U.S. Open, how should the USGA fill the rest of its now 144-player field?

Here’s a suggestion for how it can do so without completely surrendering its “open” identity:

USGA cancels qualifying for all 2020 events, including U.S. Open

Players exempt as of now (50)
 

U.S. Open champions in the past 10 years (9)
Gary Woodland, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Martin Kaymer, Justin Rose, Webb Simpson, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell

Top-10 finishers a 2019 U.S. Open (7)
Chesson Hadley, Louis Oosthuizen, Jon Rahm, Chez Reavie, Xander Schauffele, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson

2019 U.S. Senior Open champion
Steve Stricker

2019 U.S. Amateur winner and runner-up (2)
Andy Ogletree (a), John Augenstein (a)

2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion
Lukas Michel (a)

2019 U.S. Junior Amateur champion
Preston Summerhays (a)

2019 British Amateur champion
James Sugrue (a)

2019 McCormack Medal winner
Cole Hammer (a)

Masters winners in the past five years (4)
Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Danny Willett, Tiger Woods

PGA Championship winners in the past five years (3)
Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker

Open Championship winners in the past five years (3)
Zach Johnson, Shane Lowry, Francesco Molinari

2019 Tour Championship qualifiers (17)
Abraham Ancer, Patrick Cantlay, Paul Casey, Corey Conners, Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau, Tommy Fleetwood, Rickie Fowler, Lucas Glover, Chares Howell III, Sungjae Im, Kevin Kisner, Jason Kokrak, Matt Kuchar, Marc Leishman, Hideki Matsuyama, Brandt Snedeker

Suggested exemption categories to add/keep
 

Top 60 in Official World Golf Ranking as of May 18 (25)*
Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, Bernd Wiesberger, Kevin Na, Lee Westwood, Billy Horschel, Cameron Smith, Jazz Janewattananond, Victor Perez, Shugo Imahira, Erik Van Rooyen, Matt Wallace, Collin Morikawa, Scottie Scheffler, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Ben An, Sung Kang, Bubba Watson, Brendon Todd, Adam Hadwin, Viktor Hovland, Ian Poulter, Tom Lewis, Shaun Norris

Winner of 2020 PGA Championship
TBD

Winner of the 2017 Players Championship
Si Woo Kim

Any winner of a non-opposite-field PGA Tour event between 2019 U.S. Open and 2020 U.S. Open (TBD; currently 11)
Nate Lashley, Matthew Wolff, Dylan Frittelli, J.T. Poston, Joaquin Niemann, Sebastian Munoz, Cameron Champ, Lanto Griffin, Tyler Duncan, Andrew Landry, Nick Taylor

2020 Tour Championship qualifiers (TBD)
TBD

Top 10 players in Korn Ferry Tour points as of Aug. 31, after Korn Ferry Tour Championship (25)
TBD (Currently, this would get up-and-comers such as Davis Riley and Dylan Wu in the field)

Top 10 players in Korn Ferry Tour points as of Sept. 14, after Evans Scholars Invitational (TBD)
TBD

2020 U.S. Amateur champion and runner-up (2)
TBD

2020 McCormack Medal winner
TBD

2020 Haskins, Hogan and Nicklaus Award winners (3)
Sahith Theegala (a), TBD, TBD (Theegala could potentially sweep these awards)

Top 10 in World Amateur Golf Ranking after 2020 U.S. Amateur (TBD)
TBD (As of now, top amateurs such as Takumi Kanaya, Ricky Castillo and John Pak would be among those exempt while Theegala and Hammer would be exempt through previous categories)

Any sectional qualifier who finished in the top 50 and ties in the 2019 U.S. Open (7)
Alex Prugh, Sepp Straka, Marcus Kinhult, Jason Dufner, Brandon Wu, Rory Sabbatini, Tom Hoge

Special exemptions (TBD)
TBD

Use top remaining players in Official World Golf Ranking as of Sept. 14 to fill the field (TBD)
TBD

(A rough estimate would leave about 20-25 spots to be filled via those final two categories)

*Players are not officially exempt at this point

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