Ever wondered how players qualify for the US Open? We have put together the guide detailing every way a golfer can make their way into the field
The third men’s major of the year isn’t far away, but how do you earn a spot at America’s national championship? Here’s how to qualify for the US Open…
How to qualify for the US Open: Exemptions
A large chunk of the field is taken up by players who are given an exemption by the USGA. In 2023, new criteria were added to allow players to earn a spot at Los Angeles Country Club.
To qualify exempt and receive a special invitation to play in the US Open, golfers must meet one of the following 24 criteria:
1. Win the US Open
Any player to have won the US Open over the last 10 years will receive an automatic invite.
2. Finish in the top 10 at last year’s US Open
The 10 lowest scorers – including ties – will return to the US Open.
3. Win the US Senior Open Championship
The current holder of the US Senior Open Championship will receive a spot in the field.
4. Win the US Amateur
The current holder of the US Amateur title will receive a spot in the field, provided they are still an amateur.
5. Win the US Junior Amateur, the US Mid-Amateur and finish runner-up at the US Amateur
The current holders of each of these junior tournaments, as well as second-place in the US Amateur will qualify – but they must remain an amateur.
6. Win the Masters
The winner of the Masters will have a place n the field.
7. Win the PGA Championship
Any winner of the PGA Championship over the last five years will be exempt.
8. Win The Open
The last five year’s Open Championship winners will be granted an exemption.
9. Win the Players Championship
The previous three winners of the Players will receive a spot.
10. Win the BMW PGA Championship
The most recent winner of the DP World Tour’s BMW PGA Championship will gain an exemption.
11. Qualify for the Tour Championship
Any player who qualified and was eligible for the previous season-ending Tour Championship will be entered.
12. Win multiple PGA Tour events
Invites are given to multiple winners of PGA Tour events which award full-point allocation for the FedExCup within a year since the last US Open.
13. Via the FedEx Cup rankings
The top five players in the FedEx Cup standings on May 22, 2023, who are not already exempt.
14. Win the Korn Ferry Tour Points List
The points leader from the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour season using points from the regular season and the Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
15. Via the 2022 DP World Tour Rankings
The top two players from the 2022 DP World Tour Rankings will qualify if they aren’t already exempt.
16. Via the Race to Dubai Rankings
The top player in the Race to Dubai Rankings as of May 22, 2023, will qualify if not otherwise exempt.
17. Be a top point earner from the European Qualifying Series
The top two points earners from the US Open European Qualifying Series gain entry into the tournament.
18. Win the Amateur Championship
The current holder of the British Amateur will receive a spot in the field, given they still hold amateur status.
19. Win the Mark H McCormack Medal
The leading player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking system will receive an invite, provided they are still an amateur.
20. Win the NCAA Men’s Championship
The winner of the 2023 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship gets a spot if maintaining amateur status.
21. Win the Latin America Amateur Championship
The winner of the 2023 Latin America Amateur Championship will earn a spot at LACC
22. Be a top 60 point leader in the OWGR on May 22
Unless already exempt, the top 60 points leaders and ties in the Official World Golf Rankings at this stage all receive an invite.
23. Be a top 60 point leader in the OWGR on June 12
Unless already exempt, the top 60 points leaders and ties in the Official World Golf Rankings one week before the tournament all receive an invite.
24. Be granted a special exemption by the USGA
These are handed out at the governing body’s discretion.
How to qualify for the US Open: Qualifying
When entries for the US Open closed on April 12, the USGA had received a record of 10,187 entries. A player must have a handicap index of 1.4 or lower, or be a professional.
Firstly, there is the Local Qualifying series which is staged across the United States. Thousands of golfers enter sectional qualifying each year in the hope of playing at the US Open.
The number of players who advance from each of the qualifying sites depends on the field size at each event. Players who do advance then head to one of the 11 final qualifying tournaments.
10 of the final qualifying events are contested in the United States, with one held in Canada, Japan, and England each.
Final Qualifying is played over 36 holes – two rounds of 18 holes – in a single day, and the number of players advancing to the US Open is determined by the size and strength of each field.