USGA To Extend Open Invitations To Mid-Am, Junior Winners

You may recall that post-U.S. Amateur(s) it was suggested the USGA revisit the insistence on a winner retaining amateur status to enjoy their U.S. Open exemption.

While the newly announced perk by USGA President Diana Murphy is little different and we want the Opens to remain "open," news of exemptions for Mid-Am and Junior winners seems like a positive development from this week's U.S. Mid-Amateur.

From Ryan Herrington's report for Golf World.

During Thursday’s evening reception for the 264 players competing in this year’s U.S. Mid-Am, which begins on Saturday at Capital City Club in Atlanta, USGA president Diana Murphy announced that the winner will receive an exemption into next year’s U.S. Open.

Similarly, the winner of the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur next month at Champions Golf Club in Houston will get into next year’s U.S. Women’s Open. Additionally, the winners of the U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Girls’ Junior this past summer, Noah Goodwin and Erica Shepherd, will get exemptions into their respective Opens as well.

While some might see this as chipping away at qualifying spots for the U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open--because it is--the move seems like a smart way to validate the importance of other national championships. Given that these winners get to the Sectional stage and many have qualified for the Opens anyway, it will give the events and amateur golf just a bit more of a boost.