With COVID-19 cancelling qualifying for the U.S. Open, the USGA is building the 144-player field entirely on exemptions. Today the USGA has announced seven amateurs who have made the field based on their World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).
Six amateurs were already exempt into the field at Winged Foot by virtue of their performances in 2019. The U.S. Amateur winner Andy Ogletree
and runner-up John Augenstein
, the U.S. Junior Amateur winner Preston Summerhays
, the U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Lukas Michel
, the McCormack Medal winner Cole Hammer
, and the British Amateur champion James Sugrue
are all in the field.
Now, with the U.S. Amateur in the rear view mirror, the final seven amateurs have been selected. Here is a look at the seven amateurs added to the U.S. Open field thanks to their World Amateur Golf Ranking.
– University of Florida
Ricky Castillo is one of the few that is unbothered by 2020. The Florida Gator rising sophomore continues to build upon a record-setting freshman season in Gainesville. Castillo, who had the lowest scoring average in program history, posted a 70.08 scoring average. Carding 89 birdies in just 21 rounds in the COVID-19 cut season, Castillo racked up a long list of accolades which included being a Ben Hogan Award finalist, the NCAA DI Phil Mickelson Outstanding Freshman of the Year, and a PING DI First Team All-American.
Castillo began his climb up the WAGR rankings last summer, beginning with a medalist finish at the 2019 North & South Amateur before making a quarterfinals exit. At the 2019 U.S. Amateur, Castillo made it to the Sweet 16. In 2020, Castillo kept his momentum going, building off of two collegiate wins before the summer season kicked off. Adding a semifinal run at the 2020 Western feather to his cap, Castillo is locked into the field of 144.
The 2018 Asian-Pacific Amateur champion and 2019 runner-up is the definition of consistency. As a recent graduate of Tohoku Fukushi University, the 22-year-old has quite the resume. Thanks to his 2018 AP Amateur win, Kanaya made the cut at the 2019 Masters (T-58), and made it to the Round of 32 at the 2019 U.S. Amateur. Also in 2019, Kanaya grabbed a T-40 finish at the European Amateur. Winning the Taiheiyo Masters, Kanaya capped off his 2019 season with a T-3 finish at the Australian Open to give himself three wins and eight top-10s in the last 104 weeks for the top spot in WAGR.
– Scotch Plains, N.J., Florida State University
Seven must be Pak’s lucky number. Pak-Man just snuck in at the buzzer as a WAGR exemption. Moving past last week’s No. 7 Pierceson Coody (now No. 8), Pak took the last WAGR exemption. With seven collegiate wins (two this year), Pak is rolling heading into the U.S. Open.
In just five events, Pak picked up two wins with a 69.40 scoring average. Touting a 3-0 2019 Walker Cup record and named to PING’s Second Team All America, Pak topped the inaugural PGA Tour University ranking released this summer. Pak had a light summer schedule this year, but did finish T-6 at the Southern Amateur held at Maridoe Golf Club.
Spain's highest ranked amateur has had quite the 104 weeks. Taking wins at the 2020 Copa de Andalucia and the Campeonato de Barcelona this season, Rousaud also touts a runner-up finish at the Portuguese International Amateur, a Round of 32 finish at the 2019 U.S. Amateur, a T-40 at the 2019 European Amateur, and a 2018 Junior Ryder Cup appearance.
– Scotland, Texas Tech University
Scott the Scot has been consistent over the past 104 weeks. In 2019 he had six top-5 finishes in college events, including wins at the Carmel Cup and El Macero Classic. Scott took two All-American honors earning both a PING and Golfweek Second-Team selection.
In amateur golf's two biggest events, he fared well, making a quarterfinal run at the 2019 British Amateur and making match play in each of the last two years at the U.S. Amateur.
In the abbreviated 2019-2020 collegiate season, Scott’s scoring average was 70.5 as he recorded three top-10s before COVID-19 cut the season short.
– St. Simons, Ga., University of Georgia
One of the top Dawgs in collegiate golf, Thompson has most definitely earned his spot among the world’s best amateurs.
The current No. 1 ranked player in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com World Amateur Ranking
, Thompson has had a busy (and solid) 104 weeks.
At the 2020 Jones Cup, Thompson led the way as he set the tournament record at 13-under-par (203) en route to the win. Making it to match play at the U.S. Amateur, Thompson added a second-straight quarterfinals finish at the Western Amateur and a Round of 16 finish at the North & South.
In college, Thompson won the 2019 NCAA Regional and Jim Rivers Intercollegiate and had high finishes in the SEC Championship and Southern Highlands Intercollegiate. He also had an impressive T23 finish at the PGA Tour's RSM Classic at Sea Island GC.
Chun An Yu
– Chinese Taipei, Arizona State
Chun An Yu
The 2019 AmateurGolf.com Player of the Year, Chun An Yu has maintained his high ranking into 2020 despite not competing in any events this summer. He had a huge year in 2019, starting with an Australian Master of the Amateurs title, and finishing with a fifth-place finish in the Australian Open.
In between, he was a constant presence at the top of the leaderboard, racking up an amazing 11 top-five finishes in high-level college and amateur events, including a win at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational. Among the accolades were a 3rd place finish at the NCAA Championship, a T5 at the Asia-Pacific, and a runner-up finish at the Porter Cup.
In his 116 rounds played as a Sun Devil, Yu touts a 70.40 scoring average with 46 of those rounds in the 60s and 78 of those rounds under par.