Jimenez, Moore Among Additional 25 to Earn U.S. Open Exemptions
He didn’t have to sweat, but Washington native Ryan Moore had to wait a few weeks before his spot in the 2015 U.S. Open became official.
Moore, a three-time USGA champion who grew up not far from Chambers Bay in Puyallup, has been comfortably inside the top 60 in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) all season. But the first cutoff for exempting players off the ranking did not occur until May 25, so the world No. 34 patiently waited to become the first “local” competitor in this year’s field.
Moore was one of 25 golfers who became exempt via the top 60 in the OWGR, bringing the total number of fully exempt players to 74. Players can still become exempt by being inside the top 60 as of June 15. The rest of the field will be comprised of qualifiers from 12 sectional sites, two of which were conducted on May 25 in England and Japan. Five players qualified in Japan and 11 in Europe. The other 10 sectional qualifiers are scheduled for June 8 throughout the U.S.
Moore, who won the 2002 and 2004 U.S. Amateur Public Links and 2004 U.S. Amateur, has made eight previous U.S. Open appearances, with his best finish a tie for 10th in 2009 at Bethpage State Park’s Black Course.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, who tied for second in the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links, climbed 25 spots to No. 44 in the OWGR after tying for second at the BMW PGA Championship. The 51-year-old from Malaga, Spain, has played in six out of the last seven U.S. Opens, but has not made the cut since tying for sixth in 2008 at Torrey Pines.
The other players who earned full exemptions through the current OWGR are: Byeong-Hun An, Paul Casey, George Coetzee, Jamie Donaldson, Victor Dubuisson, Matthew Every, Tommy Fleetwood, Stephen Gallacher, Branden Grace, Charley Hoffman, J.B. Holmes, Thongchai Jaidee, Anirban Lahiri, Marc Leishman, Shane Lowry, Joost Luiten, Ben Martin, Francesco Molinari, Ian Poulter, Marc Warren, Lee Westwood, Bernd Wiesberger and Danny Willett.
An, who won the 2009 U.S. Amateur Championship and was a semifinalist at the 2010 U.S. Amateur at Chambers Bay, became exempt on May 24 by winning the PGA European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship. Molinari tied for fifth at the European Tour event and advanced eight spots in the OWGR to No. 58.
The U.S. Open will be contested for the first time in the Pacific Northwest. Chambers Bay is hosting its second USGA championship, having hosted the 2010 U.S. Amateur.