Steve Stricker was denied a special (‘local boy’) exemption by the USGA for this year’s U.S. Open at Erin Hills in his home state of Wisconsin.
The 12-time Tour winner realized it was a long shot, but his brother-in-law and agent, Mario Tiziani, told him it was worth a try.
“I wrote them quite a while back and asked for one, and they politely called me and declined,” Stricker said during a press conference at the Zurich Classic.
According to research by AP’s Doug Ferguson, “The U.S. Open gave an exemption last year to two-time champion Retief Goosen. Before that, it gave exemptions to Vijay Singh and Tom Watson in 2010 at Pebble Beach. The last player awarded an exemption without having won a major? That would be Aaron Baddeley in 2000 when he was a 19-year-old amateur at Pebble Beach.”
Stricker, who is the captain for this year’s U.S. Presidents Cup team, can still get in the Erin Hills field through a sectional qualifier or by getting inside the world top-60.
Currently at No. 92, a win on the big Tour would get him close to the top-60. A victory this week at the Zurich Classic, however, with another Wisconsinite, Jerry Kelly, is not worth any world ranking points.
Source: AP, Getty Images