From the Rough

Golf without discretion

Just another reason why the USGA’s qualification policies are so antiquated

with one comment

Justin Rose may have won the battle last week at the Memorial, but he didn’t win the war. The war, of course, being the fight to get into the U.S. Open field.

While the USGA does have a great system where even Joe Golfer can qualify for the event, there are some rules and regulations that are, in my opinion, extremely questionable.

Like England’s Simon Khan getting into the 156-man field at Pebble Beach because of Rose’s win. If you want a reason why the current rules are antiquated, just look at this mess. (via the Associated Press)

Thanks to Justin Rose winning the Memorial, Simon Khan of England gets to play in the U.S. Open.
The USGA said Wednesday that Khan accepted a spot in the 156-man field at Pebble Beach. That spot became available when the Memorial winner — Rose, also of England — was not exempt as a multiple PGA Tour winner over the last 12 months.

Unless you won an event prior to May 24th, any event won after that would count towards next year’s U.S. Open.

Mind you, Rose is now ranked 33rd in the world, so the top 50 ranking exemption given to players, as well as the exemption given to winners on the PGA Tour, would have gotten him into the event. Instead, he gets penalized for playing good golf at the wrong time of the year.

Seriously, these rules need to be changed, and fast. There’s no reason why they couldn’t push the deadline until the week prior to the tournament. That would give someone the chance to play their way in and possibly have momentum on their side. Plus, it would make for some captivating television on Sunday afternoon.

Why hasn’t the USGA considered changing this rule? If anything, maybe Rose’s win at the Memorial last week will force them to look into changing it in the future.


Written by Jonathan Wall

06/09/2010 at 5:17 pm

One Response

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  1. Keep in mind this is the United States OPEN. Meaning that ANYONE can play their way into the tournament. All of the spots aren’t reserved for professional Tour players from around the world.

    And although Simon Khan is a professional golfer, the spot he’s occupying was set aside for someone (ANYONE, regardless of whether they’re a professional golfer or a bus driver) to EARN through qualifying. You or I (if we lived in the UK) would’ve had the same chance to get the spot as Simon had. (The only wrinkle in this is that the spot he earned could have been taken away by a two-time winner on Tour who otherwise didn’t qualify for the U.S. Open).

    So while it may seem like Rose is the better player and has a better chance to win the U.S. Open than Khan, would you really want Rose, a guy who’s won only one Tour event on U.S. soil, to take the spot away from an average, everyday Joe who earned the spot through qualifying? I wouldn’t.

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