Tom Watson accepts US Open invite


Tom Watson said Sunday following the final round of the Masters that he expected to find out this week if he would earn a special exemption into the U.S. Open this summer at his beloved Pebble Beach Golf Links. Just 16-hours later, it’s official.

The U.S. Golf Association announced Monday that Watson, the 1982 U.S. Open champion at Pebble Beach, accepted the exemption for the even June 17-20 at Pebble Beach.

“I am deeply grateful to the USGA for extending me the invitation to play in the U.S. Open at one of my favorite golf courses in the world,” said Watson, 60. “Some of my life’s favorite times have been spent near Stillwater Cove. I know there will be more this coming June.”

Watson has won eight major championships and has played in 30 U.S. Opens. He will now become the only player to have played in all five U.S. Opens at Pebble Beach, which hosted the championship in 1972, 1982, 1992 and 2000.

In Watson’s last start at the U.S. Open, he was tied for the lead after 18 holes at the 2003 Open at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club. He went on to tie for 28th.