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How do players qualify for the U.S Open?

The U.S. Open, the third men’s Major of the season, has 16 ways for players to be exempt for the tournament.

Read below for all the ways players can qualify for the U.S. Open.

Winners of the U.S. Open for the last 10 years

If you have claimed a U.S. Open triumph in the last 10 years then your spot in the tournament field is guaranteed.

Winner and runner-up of the previous year’s U.S Amateur Championship, U.S. Junior Amateur winner and U.S. Mid-Amateur winner

These four amateur players gain a place in the field, but the runner-up at the U.S. Amateur and the winners of the U.S. Mid-Amateur and the U.S Junior Amateur all have to remain amateurs to keep their spots.

The U.S. Amateur champion will keep his spot even if he decides to turn professional before the tournament.

Winner of the Amateur Championship

The victor at the Amateur Championship, which takes place annually in Great Britain, gains a place at the event.

The previous year’s top-ranked amateur

The winner of the Mark H. McCormack medal is awarded a place in the third Major of the year.

Masters, Open Championship and U.S. PGA Championship in the last five years

Anyone who has won one of the other three Majors in the previous five years does not have to qualify.

Winners of the last three Players Championships

A place in the U.S. Open is one of the prizes for the victors at the Players Championship at Sawgrass from the previous three seasons.

Winner of the most recent BMW PGA Championship

The victor at the European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, gains a spot.

Winner of the last U.S. Senior Open

The winner of the previous year’s U.S. Open always gets an invite.

Winners of multiple PGA Tour events between tournaments

Any player who can win multiple PGA Tour tournaments in between U.S. Opens will have their card stamped, although they have to offer at least 500 points to the winner and are not opposite-field events (lower-profile get-togethers played the same week as bigger tournaments)

Reigning Olympic gold medallist

This exemption only applies for the year after the Olympics, so whoever comes out on top in Paris later in the summer will gain a place in the 2025 U.S. Open

Top-10 finishers from last year’s U.S. Open

Any player who claimed a top-ten spot in the previous year’s U.S. Open will automatically gain an invite to the tournament for the following year.

Players who qualified for last year’s PGA Tour Championship

Those who made the top 30 of last year’s FedEx Cup points list to play in the PGA Tour Championship will also get an invitation.

Top 60 players in the Official World Golf Rankings two weeks before the tournament

Players who stand in the top 60 in the OWGR a fortnight before the tournament starts will gain their place in the starting field.

Top 60 players in the Official World Golf Rankings at the start of the tournament

Those who are in the world’s top 60 on the day the tournament starts at Pinehurst will be invited to the third Major of the year.

Top-scoring player on the Korn Ferry Tour

Scores from the regular season and the finals from the previous season are combined with the scorer of the highest total invited to take part.

Special exemptions

This is typically awarded to former stars who will not have qualified under any other criteria and three-time winner Tiger Woods has been handed an exemption for 2024.

U.S. Open qualifying tournaments

U.S. Open qualifying is played over two stages - local and sectional.

Any professional or amateur with a USGA handicap of less than 1.4 can try their luck to qualify for the U.S. Open and the first stage in their attempt to make the big time comes in local qualifying, which is played over 18 holes on more than 100 courses across the USA.

Many professionals are exempt to the second stage - sectional qualifying - which takes place over 36 holes at a variety of American courses as well as Walton Heath in Surrey, England for European qualifiers and Hino Golf Club in Shiga Prefecture, Japan for hopefuls in Asia.

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