Sutherland, whose lone PGA Tour win was at the 2002 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, will turn 50 a week before the championship kicks off July 10 at Oak Tree National, in Edmond, Okla.
"I am honored and excited that the USGA has extended me an exemption to play in this year's U.S. Senior Open," said Sutherland. "I am proud of what I have accomplished on the PGA Tour and this is an acknowledgement of how I have played."
Sutherland has played in 12 USGA events in his career, including nine U.S. Opens. He made it through a sectional qualifier to make it into the field at Merion last year, and he went on to tie for 67th.
The last special exemption offered by the USGA for the Senior Open came in 2012 for amateur Randal Lewis.