Golf Canada to host U.S. Open Qualifier for the first time

Beacon Hall Golf Club
Beacon Hall Golf Club

A total of 114 local qualifiers will be conducted in 44 states and Canada for the 117th U.S. Open Championship, which will be contested June 15-18 at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis. The 18-hole qualifiers are scheduled to take place from May 2-18. Golf Canada is hosting a local qualifier for the first time.

“The support provided by state and regional golf associations, along with Golf Canada, will allow thousands of golfers from around the world, both professional and amateur, to take part in the two-tiered process of U.S. Open qualifying,” said Stuart Francis, USGA Championship Committee chairman. “We are pleased to conduct an international local qualifier for the first time in Canada as we continue to expand qualifying opportunities around the globe for all of our USGA championships.”

Beacon Hall Golf Club, in Aurora, Ontario, will host the local Canadian qualifier on Monday, May 8. The course, designed by Bob Cupp, opened for play in 1988. The outward nine is lined by stands of pine trees while the inward nine features fescue and waste bunkers.

Those players who advance out of local qualifying will compete in sectional qualifying, which will be conducted over 36 holes at 10 U.S. sites on Monday, June 5. For the 13th consecutive year, Japan and England will host international sectional qualifying, both scheduled in late May.

In 2016, the USGA accepted 9,877 entries for the championship at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club. The record of 10,127 was established for the 2014 championship at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club’s Course No. 2, in the Village of Pinehurst, N.C.

Thirty-eight courses return as U.S. Open local qualifying sites from last year and several have a long history as hosts. Illini Country Club, in Springfield, Ill., has conducted a U.S. Open qualifier in 43 of the last 44 years. Maketewah Country Club, in Cincinnati, Ohio, has been a local site in 40 of the last 41 years. Riverton (Wyo.) Country Club has hosted local qualifying since 1998, while Collindale Golf Course, in Fort Collins, Colo., has been a host site since 2003. Ironwood Country Club, in Palm Desert, Calif., has held a local qualifier in 18 of the last 19 years.

The Country Club of Detroit, in Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., will serve as a U.S. Open local qualifying site for the third time since 2012. Arnold Palmer won the 1954 U.S. Amateur at the club, defeating Robert Sweeny, 1 up, in the final. It was the first of three USGA championships for Palmer, including the 1960 U.S. Open. The club also hosted the 1915 U.S. Amateur, won by Robert A. Gardner.

Several local exemptions for the U.S. Open were amended prior to the 2014 championship. The top 500 point leaders and ties from the Official World Golf Ranking™ (as of March 8) will be exempt from local qualifying. Any player in the OWGR’s top 500 (as of April 24) who has filed an entry prior to the deadline of 5 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 26, will also earn a local exemption. In the past, only the top 150 point leaders were exempt. Additionally, any player who has had multiple finishes in the top 400 of the year-ending OWGR in the past five calendar years (2012-2016) is exempt from local qualifying.

Ken Venturi (1964) and Orville Moody (1969) are the only players to win the U.S. Open after qualifying through both local and sectional play. Last year, 27 players advanced through local and sectional qualifying to the 156-player U.S. Open Championship field at Oakmont. Of those 27, five players made the 36-hole cut, including Brandon Harkins, who started his journey at The Club at Ruby Hill, in Pleasanton, Calif., which will host a local qualifier for the ninth consecutive year.

Several U.S. Open champions have advanced to the championship through both local and sectional qualifying at some point in their careers, including Lucas Glover, David Graham, Lou Graham, Hale Irwin, Tony Jacklin, Lee Janzen, Tom Kite, Johnny Miller, Corey Pavin, Curtis Strange, Lee Trevino and Fuzzy Zoeller.

To be eligible, a player must have a Handicap Index® not exceeding 1.4, or be a professional.

There are 16 local qualifying sites in the state of Florida, the most of any state. Fourteen local qualifiers are scheduled in California, while Texas will host seven local qualifiers.

Online player registration for the 2017 U.S. Open will begin in the first week of March (