Record number of entries for 2004 US Open
BY iseekgolf.com | US PGA Tour | 2004 US Open | General | 04 May 2004
The United States Golf Association has accepted a record 8,726 entries for the 2004 US Open to be played June 17-20 at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y. The number is 258 entries higher than the previous record count accepted for the 2002 Open at Bethpage (N.Y.) State Park (Black Course).
A total of 6,342 (72.6 percent) arrived via the USGA Internet site during the fourth year online Open entries were offered, an increase of 12 percent from 2003 and 58 percent from 2001. Former champions Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Corey Pavin were among those who submitted online entries.
A total of 1,121 electronic entries were received on the last two days before the deadline of Thursday afternoon (April 29), and 140 of those entries were submitted in the final hour. The last entry to arrive was from Eric Rustand, 35, a reinstated amateur from Tuscan, Ariz., who submitted his electronic entry at 4:58:22 p.m. (EDT), 98 seconds before the deadline. In contrast, 27-year-old professional Kevin Simcox submitted the first entry just 12 minutes after online entries were launched on March 3.
The youngest golfer to enter is 13-year-old Tommy Mou of Taiwan, who is now living in Bradenton, Fla. The oldest is 81-year-old Dick Lynch, a professional from Milwaukee, Wis. Overall, the USGA received entries from golfers in all 50 states and 58 foreign countries. To be eligible, the player must have at least a 1.4 Handicap Index, or be a professional.
Sixty-four golfers, including six past champions, are currently fully exempt from having to qualify for the upcoming Championship. Two who were fully exempt did not enter: Steve Jones, due to injury, and Bruce Lietzke, the reigning US Senior Open champion.
The number of fully exempt golfers will increase with the inclusion of the top 50 players from the World Rankings, the top 10 money leaders on the PGA Tour and the top two money leaders on the European PGA Tour at the end of May.
Local qualifying at more than 100 sites will begin May 12. Sectional qualifying at 13 sites will be held June 7-8.
Past champions who are fully exempt are Ernie Els (1994,1997); Jim Furyk (2003); Retief Goosen (2001); Lee Janzen (1993,1998); Corey Pavin (1995); and Tiger Woods (2000,2002).
An Open champion receives a full exemption into the field for the next 10 years.
The Open is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA. Other championships include the US Women’s Open, the US Senior Open, and 10 amateur competitions.
Fully Exempt as of May 3rd 2004
Paul Lawrie Peter Lonard
Rich Beem Robert Allenby
Shaun Micheel Stephen Leaney
Steve Flesch Stuart Appleby
Source – USGA