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Field for 118th U.S. Open Beginning to Take Shape

September 17, 2017 By Scott Lipsky, USGA
Marc Leishman earned a victory at the BMW Championship, and also secured a spot in his seventh U.S. Open. (USGA/JD Cuban)

Sixteen players secured spots in the 118th U.S. Open Championship on Sunday, bringing the total number of exempt players to 51.

The group earned their way in by placing in the top 30 of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings at the conclusion of the BMW Championship, held at Conway Farms Golf Club, in Lake Forest, Ill., putting them in next week’s Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga.

Players who qualify for the Tour Championship are exempt into all four 2018 majors, including the U.S. Open, scheduled for June 14-17 at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.

Marc Leishman, who captured the BMW Championship title by five strokes over Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler, assured himself of a seventh U.S. Open start. His best finish in six previous appearances is a tie for 18th in 2016 at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club. Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open champion, and Fowler, who finished tied for fifth at Erin Hills in June, were among the 14 players in the top 30 already exempt into the championship, as was Jason Day, who finished alone in fourth on Sunday.

Jordan Spieth, the 2015 U.S. Open champion, will head into the season finale leading the FedEx Cup standings after a final-round 65 earned him a tie for seventh.  U.S. Open champions receive 10-year exemptions into the championship. Jon Rahm, the 2015 McCormack Medal winner who was the low amateur at Oakmont but missed the cut in his first U.S. Open start as a professional in June, finished tied for fifth on Sunday. Fifth in the FedEx Cup standings, the 22-year-old Spaniard will make his third consecutive U.S. Open start next June.

Following some 72nd-hole drama, long-hitting Tony Finau also secured a spot in the top 30. Finau, who tied for 14th in his U.S. Open debut at Chambers Bay two years ago and missed the cut at Oakmont, started the week outside the top 30 (39th) and was in a tie for 34th to begin Sunday’s final round. He was still on the bubble as he played the par-5 closing hole, but moved into the No. 24 spot thanks to a chip-in birdie that concluded a 7-under 64 on the course that hosted the 1998 U.S. Junior Amateur and 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur.

Patrick Cantlay, the 2011 U.S. Amateur runner-up who last competed in the U.S. Open as an amateur in 2012, moved from 41st to 29th in the standings after a tie for ninth on Sunday to earn him a third U.S. Open start. The No. 30 player in the standings, Jason Dufner, already was exempt into the U.S. Open by virtue of his 2013 victory in the PGA Championship. A win in the other three major championships earns a five-year exemption into the U.S. Open.

All exempt players still must file an entry by the championship entry deadline, and all exemption criteria is subject to change.

The full list of 16 players who earned U.S. Open exemptions on Sunday:

Daniel Berger
Patrick Cantlay
Paul Casey
Kevin Chappell
Tony Finau
Adam Hadwin
Russell Henley
Kevin Kisner
Matt Kuchar
Marc Leishman
Pat Perez
Jon Rahm
Patrick Reed
Kyle Stanley
Jhonattan Vegas
Gary Woodland

Scott Lipsky is the manager of websites and digital platforms for the USGA. Email him at