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Apr 30, 2018 4:32 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

World's Top Golfers Among Field Accepted Into 118th U.S. Open At Shinnecock Hills Golf Club; Local Qualifying Is Monday, May 7

May 1, 2018 4:35 PM

The initial field for the 118th U.S. Open Championship at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton in June has been announced, and it includes many of the world’s top golfers, including Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.

The U.S. Golf Association announced on Thursday, April 26, that it has accepted a total of 9,049 entries for this year’s U.S. Open, being held on Long Island for the 10th time June 14 to 17. It’s the eighth-highest number of entries, behind the record 10,127 set at the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club’s Course No. 2 in North Carolina.

Among this year’s total are 54 players, including 12 past champions, who are fully exempt into the field. The USGA accepted entries from golfers in all 50 states, including 408 from New York, as well as the District of Columbia and 80 foreign countries.

“The continued worldwide interest in competing in the U.S. Open Championship, golf’s ultimate test, remains significant,” Stuart Francis, USGA Championship Committee chairman, said in a press release. “We look forward to conducting local and sectional qualifying and to hosting the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, one of the five founding members of the USGA, for the fifth time.”

Brooks Koepka, the 2017 U.S. Open champion, and 11 other champions are fully exempt from having to qualify for the championship. They are: Ernie Els (1994, 1997), Jim Furyk (2003), Lucas Glover (2009), Dustin Johnson (2016), Martin Kaymer (2014), Graeme McDowell (2010), Rory McIlroy (2011), Justin Rose (2013), Webb Simpson (2012), Jordan Spieth (2015), and Tiger Woods (2000, 2002, 2008).

Retief Goosen, who won the 2004 U.S. Open, the last played at Shinnecock Hills, is so far missing from the list of those who qualify for exemptions and are playing in this year’s tournament.

To be eligible, a player must have a Handicap Index not exceeding 1.4, or be a professional. Local qualifying rounds of 18 holes, to be played at 111 sites in the United States and one in Canada, will take place between April 30 and May 17. Sectional qualifying, played over 36 holes, will be conducted on Monday, May 21, in Japan; and on Monday, June 4, in England and at 10 sites in the United States, ranging from New Jersey to California. This will be the 14th year with two international qualifiers, which were established in 2005.

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club is the lone club to have hosted the U.S. Open in three different centuries. In 1896, James Foulis won the second U.S. Open with a three-stroke victory over Horace Rawlins. Raymond Floyd (1986) and Corey Pavin (1995) were U.S. Open champions in the 20th century. Retief Goosen held off Phil Mickelson to win his second U.S. Open in 2004.

For the eighth consecutive year, only online entries were accepted. The USGA received 515 entries on the last day applications were accepted (April 25), including 115 applications in the final hour. Drew Caudill, a 32-year-old professional from Mount Vernon, Ohio, submitted his entry just 23 seconds before the deadline of 5 p.m. EDT. Kyle Nakazaki, a 38-year-old professional from Manhattan Beach, California, was the first to sign up when entries opened on March 7.

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 21 and June 11. The winners of The Players Championship (May 10 to 13) and European Tour BMW PGA Championship (May 24 to 27) also will earn exemptions.

In 2018, the USGA accepted more than 9,000 entries for the U.S. Open for the 10th time overall and the seventh consecutive year. The 9,882 entries accepted for the 2015 championship at Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington, is the second-most behind the 2014 championship at Pinehurst No. 2. The 9,000-mark was reached for the first time in 2005, when 9,048 entries were accepted for the championship at Pinehurst No. 2.

More information about the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, including local and sectional qualifying, is available at www.usopen.com.

A full list of the exempt players, as of April 25, can be found below.

Local Qualifying 
In Southampton Is Monday

The East End’s lone U.S. Open Local Qualifier is set for Monday, May 7, at Southampton Golf Club, and will feature a number of players from the South Fork.

There will be 92 players (41 amateurs, 51 professionals) competing for five qualifying spots. Four different countries and 12 different states will be represented.

J. Holland Humphries of Austin, Texas, a 15-year-old, is the youngest in the field whereas Medford resident Charles Stucklen is the elder statesman of the group at 57.

Montauk resident Paul Dickinson, 41, is the assistant professional at Atlantic Golf Club in Bridgehampton, site of the 2010 U.S. Mid-Amateur. Dickinson won the MGA Public Links Championship in 1996 and 1997. He was the medalist (69) in U.S. Open local qualifying at Baiting Hollow Club in 2013.

Dickinson leads what is a lengthy list of fellow East End golfers looking to qualify for the Open. Other East End notables include East Hampton pros Shane Henrion and Kristopher Tate, East Hampton amateurs Zach Grossman and Ian Lynch, Sag Harbor pros Erik Easton and Jeff Warne, and Southampton pros Louis De Kerillis, Timothy Garvin, Elliot Johnson, Kyle Jorden, Jason Russell and Michael Sweeney.

Southampton Golf Club was designed by Seth Raynor and the first nine holes opened for play in 1926. The course, which has holes adjacent to Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, was built on a farm. Brian Silver completed a restoration in 2011.

Golfers who are fully exempt into the 2018 U.S. Open (as of April 25):

Daniel Berger Matt Kuchar

Patrick Cantlay Marc Leishman

Paul Casey Hideki Matsuyama

Kevin Chappell Graeme McDowell

Jason Day Rory McIlroy

Jason Dufner Phil Mickelson

a-Harry Ellis Trey Mullinax

Ernie Els a-Matt Parziale

Tony Finau Pat Perez

Tommy Fleetwood Kenny Perry

Rickie Fowler Jon Rahm

Jim Furyk a-Doc Redman

Sergio Garcia Patrick Reed

a-Doug Ghim Justin Rose

Lucas Glover Xander Schauffele

a-Noah Goodwin Webb Simpson

Bill Haas Brandt Snedeker

Adam Hadwin Jordan Spieth

Brian Harman Kyle Stanley

Russell Henley Henrik Stenson

Charley Hoffman Justin Thomas

Dustin Johnson Jhonattan Vegas

Zach Johnson Jimmy Walker

Martin Kaymer Bubba Watson

Si Woo Kim Danny Willett

Kevin Kisner Gary Woodland

Brooks Koepka Tiger Woods

(U.S. Open champions are in bold; amateurs are marked with an “a”)

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