More Than 8500 Enter US Open

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USGAFAR HILLS, N.J. -- The United States Golf Association has accepted 8,584 entries for the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y. It is the third highest number of entries in Open history, 464 shy of the record 9,048 entries accepted for the 2005 Open.
 
A total of 2,251 entries were received on the last three days before the deadline of April 26, and 100 of those entries were submitted electronically in the final hour. The last entry to arrive was from Will Britt, a 27-year-old professional from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., who submitted his entry at 4:59:30 p.m., 30 seconds before the 5 p.m. (EDT) deadline.
 
The youngest golfer to enter was 13-year-old Ryan Simpson of Mechanicsville, N.Y. The oldest was 75-year-old Ordean Olson, a professional from Hollywood, Fla., who will turn 76 prior to the Championship. Overall, the USGA received entries from golfers in all 50 states and 62 foreign countries.
 
Among the foreign applicants was Doh Missewou, a 31-year-old professional and lone entrant from the African country of Togo. To be eligible, the player must have at least a 1.4 Handicap Index, or be a professional. Seventy-eight percent of all entries were received online.
 
Seventy golfers, including eight past champions, are currently fully exempt from having to qualify for the upcoming Championship. In addition, 1992 champion Tom Kite (1992), will try to reach the field of 156 through sectional qualifying in Houston, Texas.
 
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.
 
Local qualifying at 110 sites will begin May 10. Sectional qualifying at 14 sites will be held from May 29-June 6. International sectional qualifiers will be offered on May 29 in Japan and June 5 in England.
 
An Open champion receives a full exemption into the field for the next 10 years.
 
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