Past U.S. Open champions Jim Furyk of Ponte Vedra Beach and Ernie Els have received special exemptions into the 2018 Open at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, N.Y., June 14 to 17.
Furyk won the 2003 Open at Olympic Fields near Chicago and Els won the event twice, in 1994 at Oakmont and 1997 at Congressional.
Els will compete in his 26th consecutive US Open and Furyk in his 24th overall, and his 23rd in a row.
“As a past US Open champion, I am grateful to the USGA to accept a special exemption into the US Open Championship, where the quality of the course and how it’s set up pushes me to step up my physical and mental game,” Furyk said in a statement. “Getting to play in another U.S. Open at a historic course like Shinnecock Hills really gets my competitive spirit flowing. I’ve had great success in my many trips to the U.S. Open and winning one is a highlight of my career.”
Els and Furyk are the first players to receive special exemptions into the U.S. Open since Retief Goosen in 2016. Prior to Goosen, Tom Watson and Vijay Singh were awarded exemptions in 2010 at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links.