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onthehunt526

The USGA's Ten-Year Exemption Policy for Winners

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It is always sad and poignant when a favorite player is no longer eligible for a major.  I kind of wish Greg Norman had won a Masters.  I'd like to see him there, although by now it would be a ceremonial opening drive kind of thing.

I agree with the previous poster who said the lifetime exemption feels right for the Masters.

That said, the great defining characteristic of the US Open is that it is open.  Five years - or even 2 or 3 - is plenty given the other forms of exemption (e.g. eligible for prior year Tour Championship).   I'd  buy a plane ticket and go a long way to see Tiger in a 5 for 2 playoff as twilight was failing in 36 hole sectional qualifying.

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2 hours ago, NM Golf said:

10 years is plenty, after that you chance getting a bunch of guys in the field who aren't relevant. If you look at it the field in the Masters it's weakened considerably by the several of the past champions who aren't competitive anymore. Remember years back The Masters received some criticism because they sent letters to a few guys like Billy Casper telling them not to play anymore. 

Now if you could get the PGA Championship to stop letting in all the club pros...

The Masters is different than the others, since it doesn't have a fixed field size.  Hence the argument that it keeps out a more worth player doesn't apply.  AND adding weak players doesn't actually weaken the field, so it really is not accurate to say the field was weakened considerably.  It may not be a good look for guys who can't break 85 any more and it may reduce the average person player strength, but that really has nothing to do with field strength.  If you added me to the field of the Players it would make it no easier to win it.  Now if you REPLACED a guy with me, as happens with exemptions in other majors, that would be a different story.

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34 minutes ago, turtleback said:

The Masters is different than the others, since it doesn't have a fixed field size.  Hence the argument that it keeps out a more worth player doesn't apply.  AND adding weak players doesn't actually weaken the field, so it really is not accurate to say the field was weakened considerably.  It may not be a good look for guys who can't break 85 any more and it may reduce the average person player strength, but that really has nothing to do with field strength.  If you added me to the field of the Players it would make it no easier to win it.  Now if you REPLACED a guy with me, as happens with exemptions in other majors, that would be a different story.

Okay, with the Masters Tournament, they get a field of what maybe 100? I see your point. I get it. The U.S. Open isn't going to have guys like Greg Norman and Tom Watson finishing in the top 3 in their 50s. 

Remember, Jack Nicklaus got 4 or 5 special exemptions into the U.S. Open. (He won the Senior Open a couple times, Top-8 in the Masters in '90 and '98). 

I'm not saying give these 70 year old guys with multiple Opens (Irwin, North, etc) exemptions.

I think the two-hole playoff is dumb, if you want to finish on Sunday, it's the close to the solstice. Goddamnit play at least three holes. They just wanted to be different... You almost can get a full nine-hole playoff in, in most of the country before Sunset. Here's an idea, finish the final round around 6 pm... Give you a chance for at least a nine-hole playoff.... Different topic for different thread I guess.

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They gave special exemptions to Jack and Arnold for many, many years. They gave one to Retief Goosen recently. They can still do that for anyone else they think deserves it. 

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Els and Furyk got them this year.

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1 hour ago, BreaksLeft said:

 I'd  buy a plane ticket and go a long way to see Tiger in a 5 for 2 playoff as twilight was failing in 36 hole sectional qualifying.

 

Not gonna happen. They handed out special exemptions to Goosen, Els, and Furyk. With 9 USGA championships, TW is about as locked for a special exemption as anyone ever. I don't think it will be necessary for Tiger next year though. He will be Top 50 in the world ranking pretty soon. 

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I see where  a few people here refer to the US Open the hardest championship. I think it is the fairest, due to it's qualifying system. As far as hardest to win, I would rank it just behind The Open and the PGA due to strength of field. The Masters has always been last of the 4, due to exemptions, amateurs, and special invitations. Always seemed funny to me how so many golf fans view them in a reverse order of importance despite this. I don't see the need for more, or longer exemptions. To be honest, I don't see a need for any.

Edited by GrandStranded

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16 hours ago, onthehunt526 said:

Ok @saevel25, I'll buy that. But a multiple champion, Is probably an all-time great.

If a person wins 2-3 US-Opens in a small time-frame they are probably high up on the list of great golfers. That would stock them 15 years of exemptions. 15 years of golf is definitely a career, maybe after 15 years they should think about stepping back. If they are good enough to get the other exemption requirements, then cool, they can still compete.

 

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14 hours ago, turtleback said:

The Masters is different than the others, since it doesn't have a fixed field size.  Hence the argument that it keeps out a more worth player doesn't apply.  AND adding weak players doesn't actually weaken the field, so it really is not accurate to say the field was weakened considerably.  It may not be a good look for guys who can't break 85 any more and it may reduce the average person player strength, but that really has nothing to do with field strength.  If you added me to the field of the Players it would make it no easier to win it.  Now if you REPLACED a guy with me, as happens with exemptions in other majors, that would be a different story.

Pretty sure adding weak players does weaken the field. Now you might be able to argue that those weaker players are not taking the place of stronger players, but they could be. I mean the top 50 players in the world will be at every Major Championship unless they are battling injury (or falling down the stairs). But in a time when the fields are so deep with talent how can adding players with no chance of winning not be weakening the field when there are always more competitive players left outside looking in? Now I have no problem with what The Masters does, it's rich in traditions and it's just a special tournament. The US Open and Open Championship do it a better way they invite the best and let the rest play for a spot. Anyone with a handicap under 1.4 can take a crack at it. Play well enough you get in. The PGA needs to stop letting in so many club pros, as they definitely weaken its field as they do take the place of more serving players.

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5 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

Pretty sure adding weak players does weaken the field. Now you might be able to argue that those weaker players are not taking the place of stronger players, but they could be. I mean the top 50 players in the world will be at every Major Championship unless they are battling injury (or falling down the stairs). But in a time when the fields are so deep with talent how can adding players with no chance of winning not be weakening the field when there are always more competitive players left outside looking in? Now I have no problem with what The Masters does, it's rich in traditions and it's just a special tournament. The US Open and Open Championship do it a better way they invite the best and let the rest play for a spot. Anyone with a handicap under 1.4 can take a crack at it. Play well enough you get in. The PGA needs to stop letting in so many club pros, as they definitely weaken its field as they do take the place of more serving players.

 

The Open and PGA both allow their past champs to come back pretty much for life (age 60 for Open and no age limit for PGA). Very similar to The Masters. I don't really have a problem with the USGA policy though. They can do the special exemptions for players that they believe are historically important enough to receive it.

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10 minutes ago, Dr. Manhattan said:

 

The Open and PGA both allow their past champs to come back pretty much for life (age 60 for Open and no age limit for PGA). Very similar to The Masters. I don't really have a problem with the USGA policy though. They can do the special exemptions for players that they believe are historically important enough to receive it.

I really don't have a problem with any of it either, it's their tournament they can invite anyone they want. 

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5 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

I really don't have a problem with any of it either, it's their tournament they can invite anyone they want. 

 

The open qualifying aspect of it is very cool in my opinion. Awesome to think of a scratch amateur getting in there and having the week of his life, maybe contend for the championship.

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Just so the mods know I'm being clear:

I'm OK with U.S. Open champions who only win ONCE, only being exempt for 10 years for being a champion.

If you win TWICE or more in a ten-year span... Either you should be exempt until you are 60... Or the ten years should be added to what you have left for winning it the first time.

 

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On 3/15/2018 at 5:05 PM, Patch said:

I am in the 5 year exemption group, such as it is, for any win in a major. One win 5 years, 2 wins 10 years, 3 wins 15 years, with a max of 25 years. 

However, once a past winner is no longer competitive, they shouldn't take up a spot that denies another, more competitive golfer that spot. The over the hill golfer could still play in the major, just don't take up an official, earned spot. 

So a major has 160+/- players to start. Not a big deal. Trim off the bottom 20, and ties after day one. Then a regular cut after day two. 

The U.S. Open if you want to get down to the nitty griity actually has between 8,000-10,000 players enter it every year. From that 8,000 to 10,000... Only 550 + those exempt from local qualifying survive so your down to say ~1,500 from those 1,500 only 86 qualify from Sectionals and join the 70 players who are fully exempt into the Championship itself. Sectional qualifying is hell, it's 36 holes over one day. No two or three time champion deserves to ever have to go through that period... They've proven their ability to complete golf's toughest test. Shit happens, players, get injured, life issues take over, people lose their games and then, find it later. Although I do believe Janzen almost got in via sectional qualifying one year.. It is hell, to attempt to go through sectional qualifying for anyone. Let alone someone who has won the thing twice or three times.

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8 minutes ago, onthehunt526 said:

They've proven their ability to complete golf's toughest test.

Over a decade ago, sure.

I think the current policy is fine.

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2 minutes ago, iacas said:

Over a decade ago, sure.

I think the current policy is fine.

Ok I get the point. 

Jack Nicklaus was basically exempt till he was 60... Jack got at least 3 or 4 special exemptions to the U.S. Open.

Not that Tiger will have to worry, but if something strange happens where he wouldn't end up exempt any other way. The USGA is not going to make Tiger sectional qualify to get into Pebble Beach. He's Tiger Woods. 

Ernie won a major after his first exemption ran out, now Ernie has to qualify. I'm looking out for the Big Easy, Erik. He's still relevant. I mean he can still play. He can still contend.

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1 minute ago, iacas said:

I knew Augusta did, I didn't know the USGA did.

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