A record number of masochists
The United States Golf Association is reporting that 9,086 entries have been received (including one from Golf Digest's own Max Adler) for the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, a record, eclipsing the 9,048 it received for the 2005 Open at Pinehurst No. 2.
"One of the very positive things we are seeing is increased participation of quality foreign players in the qualifying process," Mike Davis, USGA senior director of rules and competitions, said in a news release. "We have always had a healthy representation of American players, thanks in no small part to our strong relationship with the PGA Tour. Now, we are seeing greater representation of foreign players due to our expanded ties with the European and various Asian tours. Such strong worldwide participation in the U.S. Open supports our efforts to present the very best championship in golf."
All 50 states and the District of Columbia are represented, as well as 71 foreign countries. Local qualifying begins next week at 112 sites.
-- John Strege