2020 U.S. Women's Open All-Exempt Field FAQsJuly 1, 2020

2020 U.S. Women's Open Exemptions

How do you fill the remaining spots and build the alternate list? 

After all exempt categories are complete, remaining spots in the championship field will be filled in order using the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings as of Nov. 9, 2020. Once the field is set, the USGA will compile an alternate list using the Rolex Rankings as of Nov. 9, 2020. 

Blank entries will be filed by the USGA for players who become exempt after close of entries. Players who become exempt after the close of entries will be contacted individually by the USGA and will be required to complete a championship application at that time. 

For ties where two players have the same ranking, the spot(s) in the championship proper will be determined by the highest-ranking points earned from each player’s current record of counting events (past 104 weeks). If a tie still exists, the spot(s) will be determined by the second-highest points earned, the third-highest, and so on until the tie is decided. If a tie still exists, the spot(s) will be determined by lot. 

What happens when someone from an exemption category can't play? Do you go to the overall alternate list or do you pick from that same category? 

All remaining spots in the championship field will be filled using the procedure outlined above. In the event that a player from a particular exemption category cannot play, the overall alternate list will be utilized to fill that spot. 

I am exempt but cannot currently enter the United States of America. How should I proceed? 

The USGA understands that some travel restrictions are in place that may affect a player’s ability to enter the United States. When entries open on Oct. 7, the USGA will provide links to the latest travel guidelines. Players will have to closely follow updates to those restrictions and determine their ability to travel. In addition, the USGA is currently working with the U.S. Government to see what additional travel opportunities may be available for international players looking to compete in the championship. 

When will entries be open? 

Entries will be accepted from October 7–November 11. 

I registered already and am still exempt. Do I need to register again? 

For those players who completed their online application prior to March 15, no additional action is necessary. All players who have not yet completed an application will be able to do so beginning Wednesday, Oct. 7. 

Will there be an increased number of special exemptions? 

Each year we receive special exemption requests for the U.S. Women’s Open. They are considered on a case-by-case basis, and that will not change this year. 

How did you select March 16 as the date of the frozen rankings? 

The administrators of the Rolex Rankings determined the need to suspend the rankings as of March 16 (Week 11). Up until that time, the world of professional golf was on equal footing; most tours were operating in their normal cadence. As of July 1, the Rolex Rankings remain frozen. 

There are several opportunities for players to “play their way into” the U.S. Women’s Open; was that intentional? 

The move was made to provide players at a variety of levels to have the opportunity to earn a place in the U.S. Women’s Open. We believe these categories and the diversity of the events selected will help provide an element of inspiration for players at all levels, and reward those who are playing exceptionally well leading into the championship with a spot in the field. 

How many spots are allocated to amateurs? 

Amateurs have been and continue to be an important part of the U.S. Women’s Open. On average, we have had 25 amateurs in the U.S. Women’s Open field over the last three years. This year, our exemptions will provide the opportunity for 24 amateurs to be represented in the field to most closely resemble a “typical” U.S. Women’s Open field. 

Why are you using the LPGA Money List? 

The LPGA Money List provides us with a great opportunity to identify LPGA Tour members who will perform well during the 2020 season and are not otherwise in the field. 

Why were those specific LPGA Tour events used as “play your way in” opportunities? 

Working in collaboration with the LPGA Tour, we looked to identify tournaments that provide LPGA Tour members with several “play your way in” opportunities. Given the condensed schedule, and wanting to give players ample time to make their travel plans for the championship, these four events were selected to meet the needs. 

Why are more spots given to the KPMG than the ANA and Women’s British Open, all three of which are majors? 

The U.S. Women's Open is in a unique situation, falling after the other three women's majors in 2020, yet before both the KPMG and Women's British Open in 2021. To keep some sense of equilibrium between this year's championship field in December, and next year's six months later in June, we have had to treat each major championship on a case-by-case basis. A major champion will still receive a 5-year exemption into the U.S. Women's Open, yet we have identified additional play-your-way-in opportunities for high finishers of the KPMG due to its place on the schedule. 

How will players who become exempt after close of entries file applications? 

Blank entries will be filed by the USGA for players who become exempt after the close of entries. These players will be contacted individually by the USGA and required to complete a championship application at that time. 

How big is the field? Is the overall field size reduced like the U.S. Open’s? 

We previously announced that due to daylight challenges in December in Houston, the U.S. Women’s Open will utilize both golf courses at Champions Golf Club during the first two rounds of the championship. This will allow us to accommodate a full field of 156 players. 

How will ties be decided for exemption categories? 

Tournament-Based Exemptions in LPGA Tour Events (Category #18) 

With the exception of ties for first place, which will be determined in accordance with the terms for the tournament concerned, ties will be decided in favor of the highest-ranked player in the Rolex Rankings (RR) at the beginning of the tournament. If two or more players have the same ranking in the RR, or two or more players have no RR, then ties will be decided in favor of the highest-ranked player in the 2019-20 Race to CME Globe points standings at the beginning of the tournament. 

If a tie still exists, the lowest final-round score, 3rd-round score, 2nd-round score and 1st-round score of the tournament will decide the tie, in that order. If both players are still tied, the spot(s) in the championship proper will be determined by lot. 

Any player with an official Rolex Ranking shall be considered higher-ranked than any player with no official ranking. 

Money List Exemptions (Categories #13 and 14) 

If two players are tied with the same money earned, ties will be decided in favor of the highest-ranked player in the Nov. 9, 2020 RR. 

For ties where two players have the same RR, ties will be decided by the highest ranking points earned from a single event in each player’s current record of counting events (past 104 weeks), with the reference point being at the start of the final points event counting toward that specific category. If a tie still exists, the tie will be decided by the second-highest points earned, the third-highest, and so on until the tie is decided. If a tie still exists, the spot(s) will be determined by lot. 

Ranking-Based Exemptions (Category #19) 

For ties where two players have the same ranking in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking, the spot(s) in the championship proper will be determined by the highest ranking points earned from each player’s current record of counting events as of Nov. 4, 2020. If a tie still exists, the spot(s) will be determined by the second-highest points earned, the third-highest, and so on until the tie is decided. If a tie still exists, the spot(s) will be determined by lot. 

What does “not otherwise exempt” mean? 

For tournament-based exemptions categories where the term “not otherwise exempt” is utilized (Category #18), the reference point will be at the start of the tournament. For example, a non-exempt player wins the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship and becomes exempt under Category #18. She is then considered an exempt player for all subsequent events. 

For the LPGA money list exemption category, where the term “not otherwise exempt” is utilized (Category #13), the reference point will be the close of entries (Nov. 11, 2020). 

For category #19 (WAGR) where the term “not otherwise exempt” is utilized, the reference point will be Nov. 4, 2020. 

What is the USGA’s plan for fans and what guidance is there for the folks who have already bought tickets? 

U.S. Women’s Open tickets are good for the rescheduled dates, and no action is necessary. We will continue to work with state and regional government and health officials to determine what the on-site experience looks like for all involved. 

Will media be allowed at the U.S. Women’s Open? 

We have not made any decisions about media presence at the U.S. Women’s Open. We will continue to monitor health and safety guidelines and will make a decision when it is appropriate to do so.