Cape Town - The United States Golf
Association (USGA) has awarded a
special exemption into the 119th US Open to two-time champion Ernie Els.
READ: Ernie Els receives praise from Donald Trump
Els, 49, won the 1994 US Open at Oakmont Country Club and
the 1997 US Open at Congressional Country Club.
Els is also a two-time Open Championship winner, having lifted the Claret Jug in 2002 and 2012.
also received a special exemption last year, is one of 19 players to win multiple
US Opens and was the first international player to accomplish the feat since
Alex Smith in 1910.
Meanwhile, the USGA accepted a total
of 9 125 entries for this year's US Open at Pebble Beach. The tournament will be held at the fabled course for the sixth time from June 13-16.
The last time the US Open was played at Pebble Beach - in 2010 - Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell emerged victorious.
More than 9 000 US Open entries
were received for the eighth consecutive year and the 11th time overall.
USGA accepted entries from golfers in all 50 US states, as well as from 77
American Brooks Koepka is the defending champion and will be looking to complete a hat-trick of victories having won in 2017 as well.