It’s officially U.S. Open week, and the field of 156 participants for Erin Hills is finally set. For now.
The USGA had held onto the final six spots in anticipation of some late qualifiers via the Official World Golf Ranking, and tournament officials filled those spots Monday. Only Chris Wood, who tied for second at the Nordea Masters and remained No. 60 in the latest rankings, cracked the top 60 this week but was not otherwise exempt from the original May 29 cutoff.
That left five empty slots, which the USGA filled with first alternates from various sectional qualifiers. Ryan Palmer, Dru Love, Gregory Bourdy, Tyler Light and Whee Kim are all now in the field.
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Palmer, who played in the Dallas sectional, will be making his seventh U.S. Open appearance. Bourdy will be playing in his third after a T-18 finish at Oakmont and a narrow miss on qualifying via the England sectional, while Kim was from the Memphis qualifier and will make his U.S. Open debut on the heels of a runner-up finish at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.
Love chipped in for eagle on the 36th hole of the Ball Ground, Ga., qualifier and won a subsequent playoff for first alternate status. He’s making his U.S. Open debut weeks after leaving Alabama to turn pro and will have his father, Davis Love III, on the bag this week.
Light came through the Springfield qualifier and is one of 21 players in this week’s field who made it through both local and sectional qualifying.
There is one remaining variable, though, and that is Phil MIckelson. Mickelson is expected to skip the tournament to attend his daughter’s graduation, but he has not yet formally withdrawn and is not expected to do so until later in the week. Should he pull out, he’d be replaced by another sectional alternate from the USGA’s priority list.
While the USGA does not disclose the full list in order, Golf Digest reported last week that Roberto Diaz is in line to take Mickelson’s spot if he withdraws. Diaz, who plays primarily on the Web.com Tour, was the first alternate from the New Jersey sectional.