A total of 5,157 (63.3 percent) arrived via the USGA Internet site during the third year online Open entries were offered, an increase of 23 percent from 2002 and 47 percent from 2001. Former champions Hale Irwin and Tom Watson were two who submitted online entries.
In the last three days before the deadline of Wednesday afternoon (April 23), a total of 1,501 electronic entries were received and 145 of those entries were submitted in the final hour. The last entry to arrive was from Bryan Geiberger, a professional from Palm Desert, Calif., who submitted his electronic entry at 4:56 p.m. (EDT), four minutes before the deadline.
The youngest golfer to enter is 13-year-old Mu Su of Bradenton, Fla. The oldest is 68-year-old George Bellino of Youngstown, Ohio.
Sixty-three golfers, including nine past champions, are currently fully exempt from having to qualify for the upcoming Championship. 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.
Past champions who are fully exempt are Ernie Els (1997,1994),
Retief Goosen (2001), Hale Irwin (1990,1979,1974), Lee Janzen (1998,1993),
Steve Jones (1996), Tom Kite (1992), Corey Pavin (1995), Tom Watson (1982)
and Tiger Woods (2002,2000).