Tiger Woods gets rare permission to play in the US Open at Pinehurst

The 15-time major winner Tiger Woods has taken a special exemption into the 124th US Open next month at Pinehurst, the US Golf Association said Thursday.

Tiger Woods gets rare permission to play in the US Open at Pinehurst

The three-time US Open winner, 48 years old, has had a hard time just walking 72 holes since he hurt his legs badly in a car accident in 2021.

But Woods has said he wants to play once a month this year. He came 60th in the Masters last month, his best score over 72 holes in a major since his comeback from the 2022 Masters crash.

“As our national championship, the US Open is a truly unique event for our game and one that has helped shape my career,” Woods said in a statement.

“I’m grateful to have been given this exemption, and I couldn’t be more excited to play in this year’s US Open, especially at Pinehurst, a place that means so much to the game.”

The event will take place from June 13th to 16th at the famous North Carolina course that the late Payne Stewart won the US Open at in 1999, Michael Campbell of New Zealand in 2005, and Martin Kaymer of Germany in 2014.

For Woods, the only time since 2013 that he has finished all 72 holes at the US Open was in 2019, just two months after winning the Masters. He tied for 21st place. He didn’t make the cut in 2015, 2018, or 2020, and he didn’t play in any of the other years.

Woods won the US Open three times, in 2000, 2002, and 2008. He also tied Sam Snead for the most PGA Tour wins with 82.

Woods will play in his 23rd US Open. He hasn’t played in the event since 2020 at Winged Foot.

CEO of the USGA John Bodenhamer said, “The story of the US Open could not be written without Tiger Woods.”

“This championship is better with Tiger Woods in it, from his 15-stroke win at Pebble Beach in 2000 to his inspiring win on a broken leg at Torrey Pines in 2008. His accomplishments in the game made this an easy decision for our special exemption committee.”

The next big event for Woods is likely to be the PGA Championship at Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky, in two weeks.

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