The United States Golf Association today announced that it has received a record number of entries for the 2013 U.S. Open Championship at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. The total of 9,860 entrants eclipses the previous mark of 9,086 for the 2009 championship at Bethpage State Park’s Black Course in Farmingdale, N.Y. Among the record total are 52 players, including 11 past champions, who are currently fully exempt into the field.
“The fact that we have a record number of entries, from across the world, is a testament to both the great appeal of the U.S. Open and the historic nature and grandeur of Merion Golf Club,” said USGA Executive Director Mike Davis. “We look forward to both local and sectional qualifying, conducting the 2013 championship in the Philadelphia area and identifying this year’s United States Open champion.”
The U.S. Open will be held for the fifth time at Merion on June 13-16. To be eligible, a player must have a USGA Handicap Index® not exceeding 1.4, or be a professional. Local qualifying, which will be played over 18 holes at 111 sites in the United States, will take place between May 3-16.
Sectional qualifying, played over 36 holes, will be conducted at two international sites (May 27 in Japan and England) and on Monday, June 3, at 11 sites in the United States, ranging from New York to California. The USGA established two international sectional qualifiers in 2005.
Webb Simpson, the 2012 champion, and 10 other champions are fully exempt from having to qualify for the championship. They are: Angel Cabrera (2007), Michael Campbell (2005), Ernie Els (1994, 1997), Jim Furyk (2003), Lucas Glover (2009), Retief Goosen (2001, 2004), Graeme McDowell (2010), Rory McIlroy (2011), Geoff Ogilvy (2006) and Tiger Woods (2000, 2002, 2008).
The USGA received entries for the 113th U.S. Open from golfers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 73 foreign countries.
For the third time, only online entries were accepted in 2013. The USGA received 643 entries on the last day applications were accepted (April 24), including 141 applications in the final hour. Joseph Bush, a 45-year-old professional from Scotch Plains, N.J., submitted his entry just eight seconds before the deadline of 5 p.m. EDT. Daniel Zimring, a 44-year-old professional from El Segundo, Calif., was the first entrant when registration opened.
The number of fully exempt players will increase with the inclusion of the top 60 point leaders and ties from the Official World Golf Ranking, as of May 27 and June 10. The winners of The Players Championship (May 9-12) and European Tour BMW PGA Championship (May 23-26) also receive exemptions.
This year marks the fifth time that the USGA received more than 9,000 entries for the U.S. Open. There were 9,086 entries in 2009, while 9,052 golfers entered the 2010 championship at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links. For the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in the Village of Pinehurst, N.C., 9,048 entries were received. Last year, 9,006 filed entries for the U.S. Open at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.