Essential Golf: A passion for the Game

The Field for The 2024 U.S. Open

The Field for The 2024 U.S. Open

Come June 13–16, 2024, Pinehurst Resort’s course number 2 in North Carolina, will buzz with activity during the 124th edition of the U.S. Open. The 72-hole stroke play tournament will mark the 1,000th championship staged by the USGA in its history. As of this writing, all qualifying tournaments are complete, and now all participants, including the exempt players, are ready to battle for the third major trophy of the year. 

The U.S. Open is one of the toughest golf events to advance through, considering that this year saw 10,052 players battling it out for the 156 spots on the field. Professional or amateur players with a 0.4 handicap index can enter, making the event the most democratic championship in golf. Pinehurst will be hosting its fourth U.S. Open in 25 years, with past winners being Payne Stewart (1999), Michael Campbell (2005), and Martin Kaymer (2014).

The Field 

For a golfer to participate in the US Open, they must gain entry either through qualifying events (local and final stages) or through the 23 fully exempt categories.

Qualifying Events

This year, the USGA held 100+ 18-hole Local Qualifiers in different locations globally. Players who sailed through then competed in 36-hole Final Qualifiers conducted at 13 sites, with 10 in the U.S., one in Japan, one in Canada, and one in England. The climax was June 3, dubbed “Golf’s Longest Day.” 

Below are some golfers who sailed through in the 13 final qualifiers:

  • Cherry Hill Club, Ridgeway, Ontario, Canada: 66 players battled for seven qualifying spots. Qualifiers included Mark Hubbard, Adam Svensson, Rico Hoey, Davis Thompson, Greyson Sigg, Aaron Rai, and Ashton McCulloch.
  • Lake Merced Golf Club, Daly City, California: 84 players teed it off for four qualifying spots, and the qualifiers were David Puig, Omar Morales, John Chin, and Charles Reiter.
  • The Bear’s Club, Jupiter, Florida: Matt Kuchar, Daniel Berger, Dean Burmester, Luke Clanton, and Willie Mack III earned five qualifying spots out of 73 players.
  • The Golf Club of Georgia (Lakeside Course), Alpharetta, Georgia: Jackson Buchanan, Chris Petefish, and Frederik Kjettrup carried the three qualifying spots out of 68 players.
  • Woodmont Country Club (North), Rockville, Md.: With64 players and three qualifying spots, Tim Widing, Isaiah Salinda, and Wells Williams carried the day.
  • Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit, NJ.: The event featured four qualifying spots among 72 players, and the lucky quartet was Benjamin James, Max Greyserman, Andrew Svoboda, and Jim Herman.
  • Duke University Golf Club, Durham, NC: This was a huge qualifier, with 84 players battling for seven qualifying spots. The winners were Frankie Capan III, Brian Campbell, Sam Bennett, Chesson Hadley, Webb Simpson, Carter Jenkins, and Harry Higgs.
  • Ohio State University Golf Club (Scarlet Course), Columbus, Ohio: Five out of 68 players, including Justin Lower, Seamus Power, Brendon Todd, Gunnar Broin, and Chris Naegel, won the qualifying spots.
  • Springfield Country Club, Springfield, Ohio: Zac Blair, Beau Hossler, Carson Schaake, and Cameron Davis scooped the four qualifying spots out of 64 players.
  • Pronghorn Resort (Nicklaus), Bend, Oregon: Joey Vrzich and Colin Prater earned two qualifying spots out of 44 players.
  • Hino Golf Club (King Course), Shiga Prefecture, Japan: Ryo Ishikawa, Riki Kawamoto, and Taisei Shimizu are the three Japanese golfers who scooped the qualifying spots out of 34 players.
  • Walton Heath Golf Club (New and Old), Surrey, England: This mega event saw 111 players teeing off for nine qualifying spots. The winners were Grant Forrest, Richard Mansell, Brandon Robinson Thompson, Sam Bairstow, Robert Rock, Matteo Manassero, Tom McKibbin, Eduardo Molinari, and Jason Scrivener.
  • Dallas Athletic Club (Gold & Blue Courses), Dallas, TX: This was the biggest qualifier with the most (11) qualifying spots and 140 players. The lucky eleven are Nico Echavarria, Mac Meissner, Eugenio Lopez Chaccara, Takumi Kanaya, Francesco Molinari, Brandon Wu, Michael McGowan, Parker Bell, S.H. Kim, Sung Kang, and Logan McAllister.

Fully Exempt Categories

Recent major champions, major amateur tournament winners, and top players in the global rankings are among the groups eligible for exemption. Some notable golfers who entered through the 23 fully exempt categories include: 

  • U.S. Open winners in the last ten years (2014-23): Such as Wyndham Clark (2023), Matt Fitzpatrick (2022), Jon Rahm (2021), and Bryson DeChambeau (2020).
  • The ten lowest scorers and tiers for 10th place from the 2023 US Open: Such as Rory McIlroy, Cameron Smith, and Tommy Fleetwood.
  • The 2023 US Amateur Championship Winner: Nick Dunlap.
  • Masters Tournament Winners from 2020-2024: Scottie Scheffler (2024, 2022), Jon Rahm (2023), Hideki Matsuyama (2021), and Dustin Johnson (2020).
  • Recent PGA Championship Winners (2019–2024): Such as Xander Schauffele (2024), Brooks Koepka (2023), Justin Thomas (2022), and Phil Mickelson (2021).
  • Recent Open Championship Winners (2019–2023): Notably Brian Harman (2023), Collin Morikawa (2021), and Shane Lowry (2019).
  • 2023 European BMW PGA Championship Winner: Ryan Fox
  • The Mark H. McCormack Medal 2023 Winner: Gordon Sargent
  • The 2024 NCAA Division I Men’s Individual Golf Championship Winner: Hiroshi Tai
  • 2024 Latin America Amateur Championship Winner: Santiago De La Fuente
  • The leading 60 players on the OWGR as of May 20: Such as Ludvig Åberg, Jake Knapp, Cameron Young, and Will Zalatoris.
  • Special USGA exemptions: Tiger Woods.

Final Thoughts

Some of the above-listed participants guarantee that the upcoming US Open will be one of the fiercest battles in golf this year. Will Scottie clinch his second title of the year, or could we see Rory scooping the ever-evasive fifth major? What if Tiger roars and shows us he still has it, or we witness an amateur like Gordon Sargent rising above the ranks to achieve the unthinkable? All these and more questions are just a heartbeat away from being answered.