More USGA Changes

USGA cancels 4 additional 2020 championships; only men’s and women’s U.S. Opens and U.S. Amateurs still scheduled — but with no qualifying

By Gary Baines – 5/18/2020

The USGA on Monday announced the cancellations of four more of its 2020 championships — the men’s and women’s Mid-Amateurs and the men’s and women’s Senior Amateurs — meaning that, at most, four USGA tournaments will be conducted this year: the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur.

The cancellations were made due to safety concerns and uncertainty given the novel coronavirus pandemic.

All four of the remaining 2020 USGA championships will be held without qualifying. Therefore the fields will be filled entirely through exemptions.

“Given continued health and safety concerns, as well as the potential burden on Allied Golf Associations and the courses scheduled to host qualifying, conducting hundreds of qualifiers across the country for the U.S. Women’s Amateur, U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open was not seen as a viable option,” the USGA said in its Monday release.  

Information about the expanded exemption categories for the four remaining USGA championships is expected to be forthcoming “in the coming weeks,” the USGA said.

All the decisions will have a big impact on plenty of players with strong Colorado connections as the CGA normally conducts qualifying tournaments for 14 USGA championships — including three Locals for the U.S. Open and two Sectionals for the U.S. Amateur.

And, of course, one USGA championship, the U.S. Girls’ Junior, had been scheduled for Colorado in 2020. The Girls’ Junior was set for July 13-18 at Eisenhower Golf Club at the Air Force Academy before being canceled.

The dates and sites of the championships the USGA canceled on Monday were:

— U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur: Aug. 29-Sept. 3 in Bluffton, S.C.

— U.S. Senior Amateur: Aug. 29-Sept. 3 in Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.

— U.S. Mid-Amateur: Sept. 12-17 in Manakin-Sabot and Midlothian, Va.

— U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur: Sept. 12-17 in Point Clear, Ala.

“Throughout this process, our primary focus has been the safety and well-being of everyone involved, including our players, volunteers, host club representatives and staff,” John Bodenhamer, the USGA’s senior managing director of championships, said in a statement. “We have not taken these decisions lightly and wish we had more options. But with a continued, keen interest in doing what is best for all involved, although we are extremely disappointed, this is the right decision.”

The USGA said on Monday that the U.S. Women’s Amateur (Aug. 3-9 in Rockville, Md.) and U.S. Amateur (Aug. 10-16 in Bandon, Ore.) remain on the schedule, pending CDC recommendations and state and local government guidelines. 

Previously postponed by the USGA — but still being played in 2020 — were the U.S. Open (now Sept. 17-20 at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, N.Y.) and the U.S. Women’s Open (Dec. 10-13 at Champions Golf Club in Houston.

Previous 2020 championships canceled by the USGA — in addition to the U.S. Girls’ Junior — were the men’s and women’s U.S. Senior Opens, the men’s and women’s U.S. Amateur Four-Balls, and the U.S. Junior Amateur.

A list of Colorado-based qualifiers canceled due to Monday’s USGA announcement:

U.S. Women’s Amateur qualifying — June 30 at Walnut Creek Golf Preserve in Westminster

U.S. Amateur qualifying #1 — July 6 at Fort Collins Country Club

U.S. Amateur qualifying #2 — July 13 at Columbine Country Club in Columbine Valley

U.S. Senior Amateur qualifying — July 20 at Ptarmigan Country Club in Fort Collins

U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur qualifying — July 29 at The Broadlands in Broomfield

U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur qualifying — Aug. 12 at Omni Interlocken Golf Club in Broomfield

U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifying — Aug. 17 at The Meadows in Littleton 

The only 2020 USGA qualifying tournaments still on the schedule for Colorado are for the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball (qualifying: Sept. 28 at The Club at Inverness in Englewood) and 2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball (qualifying: Sept. 21 at CommonGround Golf Course in Aurora).