USGA relaxes its amateur status rule for US Open & US Women's Open

Viktor Hovland probably wishes the USGA had made this decision 12 months ago! 

USGA relaxes its amateur status rule for US Open & US Women's Open


The USGA has today announced that winners of the US Amateur and US Women's Amateur will now be able to choose whether they want to play in the US Open and US Women's Open as either an amateur or professional.

In the past, winners of both events have needed to remain an amateur to be able to compete in the following year's US Open and US Women's Open.

“We believe this change gives our champions an important option as they choose whether and when to embark on their professional careers,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA Senior Managing Director, Championships.

“Given the significant purses awarded at the US Open and US Women’s Open, we realise how important it is for players to make the most appropriate decision for his or her career, and the positive impact it could have at the outset of their professional careers.”

USGA relaxes its amateur status rule for US Open & US Women's Open

The decision by the USGA therefore removes a catch that has caused problems for winners in the past, such as 2018 US Amateur champion Viktor Hovland, who decided to play out his junior season at Oklahoma State as an amateur in order to compete in the 2019 US Open. 

Hovland played out a superb week at Pebble Beach finishing tied 12th as the low amateur for the week, and then turned professional a week later when signing for PING and J.Lindeberg.

The Norwegian star has played some exceptional golf this season and has racked up top-20 finishes in four of his five starts since turning professional.

But despite his impressive form in recent weeks, it has been all too late in the year for Hovland who failed to secure his playing rights on the PGA Tour for 2020. He can, however, secure his PGA Tour card for next season by claiming one of 25 places in the upcoming Korn Ferry Finals. 

The USGA may have relaxed its amateur status rules where the US Open is concerned, but The Masters is not budging and the US Amateur winner must remain an amateur in order to compete at Augusta National. 


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