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U.S. OPEN THURSDAY-SUNDAY, BETHPAGE BLACK COURSE

There's No Doubting His Qualifications

June 12, 2002|Chris Dufresne

How terrific is Tiger Woods?

There are 17 ways to become exempt for the U.S. Open and Woods has qualified nine ways. He is exempt for having been a recent winner of the U.S. Open, Masters, British Open and PGA Championship. He has also qualified as a result of being a top-15 finisher in last year's U.S. Open, having finished as one of the top 30 money winners on the 2001 PGA Tour, being among the top 10 money leaders this year through May 26 and ranking among the top 50 point leaders in the world rankings list. Woods is also exempt for being a multiple winner of a PGA Tour co-sponsored event from April 25, 2001, through June 2, 2002.

No other golfer in this year's field has more than six exemptions.

Six of the 17 exemptions don't apply to Woods, as they are awarded to the 2001 amateur champion, Senior Open winner and various foreign tour leaders. And Woods certainly didn't need a USGA special exemption, extended this year to Hale Irwin.

In fact, the only exemption available to Woods that he did not earn was the one awarded to the 2002 Players Championship.

Craig Perks earned his way into this year's Open by winning that tournament.

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