Els, Furyk awarded berths into US Open at Shinnecock
New York (AFP)
Two-time winner Ernie Els of South Africa and 2003 champion Jim Furyk were issued special exemptions Wednesday into the 118th US Open in June, the US Golf Association announced.
The year's second major championship will be played from June 14-17 at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, New York.
Els, 48, won the 1994 US Open at Oakmont and the 1997 US Open at Congressional. He also captured the 2002 and 2012 British Open crowns, but the five-year US Open exemption for his most recent major title expired last year.
This year will mark the 26th consecutive US Open appearance for Els, who was the first non-US golfer to win multiple US Opens since Alex Smith in 1910. Only 18 players in all have won multiple US Open titles.
"It's a thrill and I'm very grateful to the USGA," Els said. "Obviously the US Open means a lot to me. This is kind of where it all started, you might say.
"There are so many wonderful memories from US Opens and it's exciting to be able to keep that story going."
Furyk, 47, won his US Open title at Olympia Fields and will make his 23rd consecutive US Open start and 24th overall.
"As a past US Open champion, I am grateful to the USGA," Furyk said. "Getting to play in another US Open at a historic course like Shinnecock Hills really gets my competitive spirit flowing. I've had great success in my many trips to the US Open and winning one is a highlight of my career."
Els has had 10 top-10 US Open finishes, the most recent a share of fourth in 2013, and Furyk is a three-time US Open runner-up -- in 2006, 2007 and 2016 -- with seven top-five finishes.
The only other player to receive a special exemption into the US Open since 2010 was South African Retief Goosen in 2016.
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