May 29, 2014
The USGA announced last month it received a record 10,127 entries for the 2014 U.S. Open, eclipsing last year's previous record of 9,860 applicants. With 74 of the 156 spots in the Open field already claimed via exemptions, close to 10,000 golfers are fighting, then, in local and sectional qualifiers for the remaining 82 tee times. By our math, that gives hopefuls a 0.81 percent chance not to win or make the cut but just to qualify for the tournament at Pinehurst -- a quarter of a percentage point less than when we first explored this a year ago. How daunting are the odds of earning a trip to North Carolina? Here are some of the things easier to do than qualifying for the national championship.