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Ams to earn more U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open Exemptions
U.S. Junior Amateur winner Noah Goodwin and U.S. Junior Girls' winner <br> Erica Shepherd are now exempt in the U.S Open and U.S. Women's Open <br>(USGA Photo)
U.S. Junior Amateur winner Noah Goodwin and U.S. Junior Girls' winner
Erica Shepherd are now exempt in the U.S Open and U.S. Women's Open
(USGA Photo)
FAR HILLS, NJ (Oct. 5, 2017) - The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced that the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open will increase the number of exemption categories from qualifying, effective with the 2018 championships. The U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Mid-Amateur champions from the previous year will be exempt from local and sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open. The U.S. Girls’ Junior and U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champions from the previous year will be exempt from U.S. Women’s Open sectional qualifying.

“Amateur golf is central to the USGA’s mission,” said Stuart Francis, USGA Championship Committee chairman. “Adding these exemptions to both Open championships affirms our commitment while supporting and celebrating amateur golf. The openness of both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open is very important to the USGA, and we feel these exemptions are befitting of national champions.”

The first two players to earn exemptions are Erica Shepherd, of Greenwood, Ind., the 2017 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion, and Noah Goodwin, of Corinth, Texas, the 2017 U.S. Junior Amateur champion. Both earned their victories in July, and they will be joined on Oct. 12 by the U.S. Mid-Amateur champion and on Nov. 16 by the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion. The U.S. Mid-Amateur begins on Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Capital City Club, in Atlanta, Ga., and stroke-play co-host Atlanta National Golf Club, in Milton, Ga. The U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur will begin on Nov. 11 at Champions Golf Club (Cypress Creek Course) in Houston, Texas.

The U.S. Open, which will be played at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, in Southampton, N.Y., from June 14-17, 2018, will now include 17 exemption categories from the two-tiered qualifying process. Local qualifying, played over 18 holes, was held at 113 sites in 2017, while sectional qualifying, played over 36 holes, was conducted at 10 U.S. sites and two international sites (Japan, England). A player must have a Handicap Index® not exceeding 1.4, or be a professional. In 2017, 77 players in the 156-player field were exempt from qualifying. The USGA accepted 9,485 entries for the 2017 championship.

There are now 19 exemption categories from U.S. Women’s Open sectional qualifying. The championship will be played at Shoal Creek, in Shoal Creek, Ala., from May 31-June 3, 2018. To be eligible for the U.S. Women’s Open, a player must have a Handicap Index® not exceeding 2.4, or be a professional. Sectional qualifying was conducted at 21 sites in the United States and four international sites in 2017 (England, Japan, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Korea). The USGA accepted 1,709 entries for the 2017 championship.

Previously, U.S. Open exemptions were awarded to the following amateur players: the U.S. Amateur champion, U.S. Amateur runner-up, the winner of The Amateur Championship, conducted by The R&A, and the recipient of the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the No. 1 player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™. U.S. Women’s Open exemptions have been given to the U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, U.S. Women’s Amateur runner-up, Ladies British Amateur champion and the McCormack Medal recipient as the No. 1-ranked female amateur golfer.

ABOUT THE U.S. Open

The U.S. Open is one of 13 national championships conducted by the USGA. Open to amateurs and professionals.

The USGA intends to make the U.S. Open the most rigorous, yet fair, examination of golf skills, testing all forms of shot-making. The USGA prepares the course after careful consideration of 14 different factors. The complete philosophy statement can be found on www.usopen.com.

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