Sponsors Exemptions: Amateurs vs Past Champs

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Last month at the Northern Trust Open, amateur sensations Jordan Spieth and Patrick Cantlay were both in the field thanks to sponsor's exemptions. Left on the outside looking in was Mike Weir, two-time champion of the event who was seeking an exemption as he looks to regain past form following an elbow injury.

Should past champions receive preferential treatment when it comes to sponsor's exemptions? Should events look to showcase the game's rising stars with these coveted spots? Or should these situations be evaluated on a case by case basis?