New York - Entries for June's US Open were the fewest since 2012, but the fifth-most in history with 9 485 golfers trying to play in this year's second major championship at Erin Hills.
The US Golf Association announced entries on Thursday for the 117th US Open, to be staged from June 15-18 in Wisconsin for the first time at only the sixth public access course to host the event.
The record of 10 127 entries were submitted for the 2014 US Open at Pinehurst with that number falling to 9 882 for 2015 at Chambers Bay and 9 877 last year for Oakmont, which was just ahead of the 9 860 entrants for Merion in 2013.
Entries from professionals or players whose handicap is 1.4 or lower came from every US state and 66 other countries, with local qualifying for those not exempt set for 113 sites from May 2-18.
Sectional qualifying will be staged in Japan on May 22, England on May 29 and June 5 at 10 US sites.
Defending champion Dustin Johnson, who withdrew from the Masters after injuring his back in a fall, plans to return to the PGA Tour next week and is among 10 past winners among 51 players fully exempt into the tournament.
That group includes world number two Rory McIlroy, two-time winner Ernie Els, England's Justin Rose, Germany's Martin Kaymer and fifth-ranked American Jordan Spieth.
Next month's Players Championship and European Tour BMW PGA Championship will earn exemptions into the field, as will any unqualified top-60 players in the rankings of May 22 and June 12.
Tiger Woods, a three-time US Open champion and 14-time major winner, will not participate after announcing last week he has undergone back surgery that will sidelined him the remainder of the season.
Sergio Garcia, the Spaniard who won his first major title earlier this month at the Masters, is also among those in the field, as are fellow reigning major champions Jimmy Walker from last year's PGA Championship and Swede Henrik Stenson from last year's British Open and world number three Jason Day of Australia.
And US star Phil Mickelson, a five-time major champion, will try to complete his career Grand Slam with a victory at Erin Hills. The US left-hander, who turns 47 the day the second round is played, has a record six runner-up showings at the US Open, most recently in 2013.
For the seventh consecutive year, entries were only accepted online, with 561 arriving on Wednesday on the deadline, 125 of those in the final hour with Lance Richards of Utah just 11 seconds ahead of the cutoff. The first in was Erin Hills caddie David Zeisse on March 8.