Tom Watson Granted Special Exemption to 2010 US Open
By Stephanie Wei under General

Another triumph for the old man. A day after finishing T18 at The Masters, the USGA granted Tom Watson a special exemption to this June’s US Open at Pebble Beach. (It’s about time!) In a statement released by the USGA, Watson said:

I am deeply grateful to the USGA for extending me the invitation to play in the U.S. Open at one of my favorite golf courses in the world, Pebble Beach Golf Links. Some of my life’s favorite times have been spent near Stillwater Cove. I know there will be more this coming June.

Along with his appearances in the four previous US Open championships held at Pebble Beach, which were in 1972, 1982, 1992 and 2000, he will become the only player to compete in all five. In 1982, Watson found himself in the deep rough by the green on the 17th hole. When most assumed he would make bogey, he chipped in for birdie, which would go down in the history books as one of the most magical moments in golf. Watson would go on to birdie the 18th and win by two over Jack Nicklaus.

So, he’ll return once again, and of course, tell us he can’t contend. And then he’ll contend. Given his performances in the last two major championships he’s played, no one would be surprised if his name pops up on the leaderboard.

[Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images]