Two-time champ Goosen gets U.S. Open exemption


The USGA announced Tuesday that two-time champion Retief Goosen has received a special exemption into next month's U.S. Open.

Goosen earned his first major victory in a playoff over Mark Brooks at Southern Hills in 2001, then added a second title when he won three years later at Shinnecock Hills. The 10-year exemption he received for the latter win expired in 2014, but Goosen was able to earn a spot in last year's field at Chambers Bay via sectional qualifying.

Goosen, 47, has seven career PGA Tour victories to his credit, the last of which came at the 2009 Valspar Championship. This season he has four top-25 finishes in 11 starts, including a T-12 finish last week at The Players Championship.

"I am incredibly grateful to receive a special exemption into the 2016 U.S. Open," Goosen said. "It is, of course, a very special championship for me, having managed to win it twice, and I am delighted to know that I will be in the field again this year."

This marks the first time the USGA has offered a special exemption into its marquee event since 2010, when Tom Watson and Vijay Singh both received spots in the field at Pebble Beach. Hale Irwin remains the only player to win the U.S. Open while playing on a special exemption, having done so in 1990.

The U.S. Open will be held June 16-19 at Oakmont Country Club in Pittsburgh, Pa.