Tiger Woods 'honored' to play on required exemption at U.S. Open

Tiger Woods is set to make his 23rd start at the U.S. Open. File Photo by Tannen Maury/UPI
1 of 5 | Tiger Woods is set to make his 23rd start at the U.S. Open. File Photo by Tannen Maury/UPI | License Photo

May 3 (UPI) -- Tiger Woods said he felt "honored" to receive a required special exemption to play in the 2024 U.S. Open. Woods, who did not qualify, will play on a special exemption entry for the first time in his storied golf career.

The United States Golf Association announced Thursday that Woods accepted the invitation to the third major of the season. Woods' qualified for the last five U.S. Open tournaments because of his victory at the 2019 Masters Tournament, but that qualifying invitation expired this year.


"The U.S. Open, our national championship, is a truly special event for our game and one that has helped define my career," Woods said in a statement.

"I'm honored to receive this exemption and could not be more excited for the opportunity to compete in this year's U.S. Open, especially at Pinehurst, a venue that means so much to the game."


Woods, 48, won U.S. Open titles in 2000, 2002 and 2008. His 2019 Masters crown was the most-recent of his 15 major crowns.

He made the first of his previous 22 U.S. Open starts in 1995.

"The story of the U.S. Open could not be written without Tiger Woods," USGA chief championships officer John Bodenhamer said.

"From his 15-stroke victory at Pebble Beach in 2000 to his inspiring win on a broken leg at Torrey Pines in 2008, this championship is simply better when Tiger is in the field, and his accomplishments in the game undoubtedly made this an easy decision for our special exemption committee."

The 2024 U.S. Open will be held from June 13 to 16 at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club's Course No. 2 in Pinehurst, N.C.

Woods continues to be hobbled by back and leg injuries. He carded a four-round score of 16-over par and finished 60th at last month's Masters. He played just two official events last season, tying for 45th at the Genesis Invitational and withdrawing from the 2023 Masters.

Woods earned his last victory at the 2019 Zozo Championship. Prize money totals for the 2024 U.S. Open will be announced the week of the tournament. Last year's winner, Wyndham Clark, took home $3.6 million. A total of 156 players compete annually for the U.S. Open Trophy.


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