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Tiger Woods might have found his way into this year’s US Open.

The fifteen-time major champion isn’t exempt for the tournament at Pinehurst No. 2, marking the first time he isn’t automatically in a major field since 1996.

While still an amateur, Woods missed the PGA Championship at Valhalla, the home of this year’s event.

And in December, the 48-year-old admitted he was unsure as to how he would qualify for the US Open in June.

At the PNC Championship, where Woods played with son Charlie, he was questioned on his path back into the tournament he has won three times.

“That, I do not know,” Woods said. “I don’t know what’s happened or what Jack [Nicklaus], what happened over his career, or Tom [Watson] or anybody else.

“But as of right now, no, I’m not in, and whether or not I have to formally ask them or they invite me or give me an exemption or I have to go qualify, you know, who knows.”

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Assuming Woods doesn’t break into the top 60 of the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) by the week before, he would require a special exemption.

The United States Golf Association (USGA) has done that several times, starting with Ben Hogan in 1966 to, most recently, Phil Mickelson in 2021.

Meanwhile, Jack Nicklaus – a four-time US Open champ – received a record eight special exemptions, with Arnold Palmer granted five.

And Woods could be one step closer to earning his own special invitation after being named the winner of a prestigious award from the governing body.

The 82-time PGA Tour winner is now a recipient of the Bob Jones Award, the highest honour from the USGA that recognises his commitment to sportsmanship and respect for golf’s traditions.

“This award goes beyond playing performance, recognising the lasting impact of one person’s journey that has forever changed the image and growth of golf,” said Mike Whan, CEO of the USGA.

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“There are very few who stand alongside Tiger Woods in terms of on-course accomplishments, and he is in a class of his own when it comes to the impact he has made on the game and future generations who will play it.”

A nine-time USGA winner, Woods won three US Junior Amateurs followed by three US Amateurs before winning the American major in 2000, 2002 and 2008.

In a statement, he wrote: “Bob Jones was a pillar of our game because of the integrity with which he played it, and I’m truly humbled to receive the award that bears his name and join the many who have received it before me who continue his legacy.”

Notably, Woods will be honoured during the US Open in North Carolina, on June 12.

Previous winners include Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Ben Hogan.


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John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

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