Modifications to USGA Qualifying Structure and What It Means for the NJSGA

Modifications to USGA Qualifying Structure and What It Means for the NJSGA

KENILWORTH, N.J. - Beginning in 2024, the United States Golf Association (USGA) will be making significant changes to qualifying for four of their most prestigious championships: the U.S. Amateur, the U.S. Women’s Amateur, the U.S. Junior Amateur, and the U.S. Girls’ Junior. The New Jersey State Golf Association has earned exemptions to the U.S. Amateur, the U.S. Women’s Amateur, and the U.S. Girls’ Junior.  

According to the USGA, all events will be evaluated each fall for the following year, utilizing the three-year rolling average of their World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR) power ranking. Thus, events which become WAGR ranked in 2024 will have the option to meet the respective threshold for an exemption into 2025 USGA championships. 

“This is great news for the New Jersey golf community,” expressed NJSGA Executive Director Kevin Purcell. “Our champions will be guaranteed a spot to compete in the national championship. We’ll have someone to root for as the USGA championship unfolds.” 

U.S. Amateur 
The entire qualifying process for the U.S. Amateur is going to change starting in 2024. It will evolve from a one-stage, 36-hole qualifier, to two stages of qualifying at 18 holes each, with 45 Local Qualifying sites feeding 19 Final Qualifying sites. This process will mirror the U.S. Open qualifying process where there will be two stages of qualifying - local qualifying and sectional qualifying.  

Most notably, the 2024 New Jersey State Amateur Champion will receive an exemption to play in the 2024 U.S. Amateur. The winner will also receive an exemption from local qualifying the following year in 2025, which means they will not have to go through local qualifying and will be exempt directly into sectional qualifying. 

For the upcoming championship, the second and third place finishers will receive local exemption and head straight to sectional qualifying.  

The 2024 U.S. Amateur Championship will be conducted at Hazeltine National Golf Club on August 12-18. 

U.S. Women’s Amateur 
In 2024, the 99th New Jersey Women's Amateur Championship will take place June 24-27 at Watchung Valley Golf Club. The winner will advance to the 124th U.S. Women's Amateur at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., August 5-11. The championship, which has typically been contested in late July and early August, has been shifted to June in order to accommodate the champion’s exemption into the field for the U.S. Women's Amateur. 

U.S. Girls’ Junior 
On the junior side, the 69th New Jersey Junior Girls' Champion will earn the exemption into the 75th U.S. Girls' Junior Championship, as long as they meet the age requirement and do not turn 19 by the final day of the USGA championship. The U.S. Girls' Junior will be held at El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana, Calif., from July 15-20. A date and venue for the New Jersey Championship is to be announced. 

U.S. Junior   
In looking at the WAGR power rankings, the NJSGA is hopeful that beginning with the 2025 championship, the New Jersey Junior Champion will be awarded an exemption into the U.S. Junior Championship. Exemptions are awarded on a rolling three-year average of strength of field as determined by the WAGR system.  

For more information on the USGA’s changes to qualifying, click here.   

NJSGA Social Media  
For the latest updates and news, visit or follow New Jersey State Golf Association on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @NJSGA1900.

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