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Tiger Woods accepts special exemption to play in U.S. Open

Tiger Woods accepts special exemption to play in U.S. Open
Tiger Woods still believes that despite injuries and constant pain, that he can still compete at the 2024 Masters. (Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images)

Tiger Woods accepted a special exemption to play in the U.S. Open, the United States Golf Association announced on Thursday.

Woods, who won the U.S. Open in 2000, 2002 and 2008, will be making his 23rd overall appearance at the tournament when it begins on June 13 at Pinehurst, N.C.

“The story of the U.S. Open could not be written without Tiger Woods,” USGA chief championships officer John Bodenhamer said in a statement. “From his 15-stroke victory at Pebble Beach in 2000 to his inspiring win on a broken leg at Torrey Pines in 2008, this championship is simply better when Tiger is in the field, and his accomplishments in the game undoubtedly made this an easy decision for our special exemption committee.”

The U.S. Open does not provide lifetime exemptions to past champions, unlike the PGA Championship or Masters. Woods, who is currently No. 789 in the Official World Golf Ranking, initially was not eligible for the U.S. Open after his five-year exemption for winning the 2019 Masters expired.

“The U.S. Open, our national championship, is a truly special event for our game and one that has helped define my career,” Woods said in a statement. “I’m honored to receive this exemption and could not be more excited for the opportunity to compete in this year’s U.S. Open, especially at Pinehurst, a venue that means so much to the game.”

Woods, 48, won the last of his 15 majors at Augusta in 2019.

This year, he has withdrawn from the Genesis Invitational and limped to a 60th-place finish at the Masters. He has eyes on competing at the PGA Championship in two weeks at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.

–Field Level Media

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