International Qualifiers Added

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USGAFAR HILLS, N.J. ' A sectional qualifying site will be added in Europe and Asia for the 2005 U.S. Open, the United States Golf Association has announced. The qualifiers will be added in order to accommodate the large number of golfers who are awarded local exemptions but still fail to submit a championship entry due to inconvenience and the cost of travel to the U.S. to compete in one of the 13 sectional qualifiers held in this country. In 2004, there were 130 international golfers who were locally exempt but failed to submit an entry.
 
The plan is for a qualifier to be held at a site convenient to the weekly European PGA Tour and the Japan PGA Tour sites on June 6, 2005. The USGA has asked the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A) and the Japan Golf Association for their assistance in conducting these overseas sectional qualifiers.
 
The two-stage qualifying process for the 2004 Open consisted of 104 local qualifying sites and 13 sectional qualifying sites, with 750 golfers competing for 80 places in the sectional qualifiers.
 
We wish to give the skilled international golfers who have earned local exemptions a more convenient geographical opportunity to participate in U.S. Open sectional qualifying, said David Fay, USGA executive director. Additionally, oversees qualifiers will no longer need to spend the week in the U.S. between qualifying and the start of the Championship.
 
Notably, Colin Montgomerie and Bernhard Langer withdrew from Open sectional qualifiers in 2004 rather than travel from England to the U.S. to play 36 holes in one day. Conversely, Nick Faldo flew from England to Florida and won a spot through Open sectional qualifying the next day.
 
More details regarding sites and qualifying spots available will be announced in spring 2005.