USGA Accepts 3,019 Entries for 44th U.S. Senior Open

By Brian DePasquale, USGA

| May 02, 2024 | Liberty Corner, N.J.

USGA Accepts 3,019 Entries for 44th U.S. Senior Open

Eleven champions, including two-time winner and defending champion Bernhard Langer, are among the 3,019 entries accepted by the United States Golf Association (USGA) for the 44th U.S. Senior Open Championship. The U.S. Senior Open will be played for the first time at Newport (R.I.) Country Club, from June 27-30.

This year’s entry total surpassed the 3,000 mark for the fifth time and is the third-highest in championship history. The record was established in 2002, when 3,101 applied to play. The USGA accepted entries for the 2024 championship from golfers in all 50 U.S. states, including 31 from host state Rhode Island, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 43 foreign countries.

Langer, the 2010 and 2023 titleholder who just returned to competition following an Achilles tear, and 10 other U.S. Senior Open champions are fully exempt from having to qualify for the championship. They are: Olin Browne (2011), Fred Funk (2009), Jim Furyk (2021), Padraig Harrington (2022), Jeff Maggert (2015), Colin Montgomerie (2014), Kenny Perry (2013, 2017), Gene Sauers (2016), Steve Stricker (2019) and David Toms (2018). Last year at SentryWorld in Stevens Point, Wis., Langer, at age 65, became the seventh player to win multiple Senior Opens while becoming the oldest-ever champion.

“The USGA is pleased to return to Newport Country Club, one of the Association’s five founding members and the place where the first U.S. Amateur and first U.S. Open were conducted,” said USGA Chief Championships Officer John Bodenhamer. “Once again, the number of entries represents the great interest that thousands of golfers worldwide have in competing for a place in senior golf’s most prestigious championship and ultimately hoisting the Francis D. Ouimet Trophy as champion.”

The U.S. Senior Open is open to professional golfers, and amateurs with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 2.4, who are at least 50 years of age by the start of championship play.

Qualifying will be conducted over 18 holes at 33 sites across the United States between May 13 and June 5. There are qualifying sites in 22 states, including five in California, four in Florida and three in Texas. Additional places in the 156-player field are reserved for eligible winners of official PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions events in the weeks remaining before the 2024 U.S. Senior Open.

There are five U.S. Open champions among the 81 exempt players. They include two-time champions Ernie Els (1994, 1997), Retief Goosen (2001, 2004) and Lee Janzen (1993, 1998), as well as Michael Campbell (2005) and Furyk (2003). Seven U.S. Open runners-up are also exempt: Els (2000), Furyk (2006, 2007, 2016), Miguel Angel Jimenez (2000), Tom Lehman (1996), Rocco Mediate (2008), Montgomerie (1994, 1997, 2006) and Jeff Sluman (1992).

Major champions are also among the group of exempt players and include Masters winners Langer, Mark O’Meara, Vijay Singh and Mike Weir; PGA champions Harrington, Singh, Sluman, Toms and Y.E. Yang; and winners of The Open Championship: Mark Calcavecchia, Stewart Cink, Darren Clarke, Els, Harrington, Justin Leonard, Lehman and O’Meara.

John Kelley, a 59-year-old amateur from Polson, Mont., submitted his entry 1 minute, 57 seconds before the deadline of 5 p.m. EDT on May 1. Matt Schalk, a 53-year-old professional from Erie, Colo., was the first entrant on Feb. 20. Lawrence Clemons, a professional from Bath Township, Mich., is the oldest entrant at age 74.

Newport Country Club is hosting its first Senior Open and fifth USGA championship. The club was the host site for the inaugural U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur in 1895. Tiger Woods won the 1995 U.S. Amateur and Annika Sorenstam captured the 2006 U.S. Women’s Open at the historic venue.

For the list of the 81 golfers who are currently exempt into the 2024 U.S. Senior Open as of May 2, click here.