USGA: CDC guidelines 'will clearly have an impact' on qualifiers, events

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Even though their two biggest events are scheduled for June, USGA officials are bracing for impact from COVID-19 following the latest guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control.

Sunday the CDC updated its guidelines surrounding the escalating coronavirus threat, discouraging mass gatherings of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks. That timetable would extend until May 10, with qualifiers for both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open slated to begin before then.

The U.S. Open is scheduled for June 18-21, but the local qualifying stage includes 18-hole events across the country from April 27 to May 12. The U.S. Women’s Open, slated for June 4-7, includes qualifiers from April 21-May 14. The same CDC guidelines led the PGA of America to postpone its Professional Championship, which was scheduled for late April and was to supply 20 club pros with spots in this year’s PGA Championship.

Events postponed or canceled because of coronavirus concerns

While the exact repercussions on the various events remains uncertain, the USGA issued a statement Monday that noted a direct “impact” will be felt.

“The USGA is acutely aware of the recent direction provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention regarding gatherings larger than 50 people,” the statement read. “We intend to carefully follow these guidelines, which will clearly have an impact on our championships and qualifiers. We will provide more information as soon as possible.”