Steve Stricker had his request for a special exemption into the U.S. Open denied, so Monday he went out and earned a spot in the field.
The 50-year-old Stricker shot rounds of 67 and 65 to win the sectional in Memphis, Tennessee, earning one of the 156 spots in the U.S. Open field at Erin Hills next week.
Jordan Niebrugge of Mequon also qualified, finishing in a tie for second in the Tacoma, Washington sectional. Niebrugge fired rounds of 73 and 67. He and Stricker are the only two players with Wisconsin ties to make the U.S. Open field.
Stricker will be making his 20th appearance in the U.S. Open. His best finishes came when he took fifth in both 1998 and 1999.
The 23-year-old Niebrugge will be making his U.S. Open debut, but he does have some major experience. Niebrugge tied for sixth place at the 2015 British Open as an amateur and also played in the 2014 Masters. Niebrugge also won a qualifier for the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at Erin Hills in 2013 and ended up capturing the title.
As a senior at Oklahoma State, Niebrugge also finished second in the Erin Hills Intercollegiate. He turned pro in 2016 and is playing on the PGA Tour-sanctioned McKenzie Tour in Canada.
Several others from the state failed to qualify, including Menomonee Falls native Mark Wilson who finished two shots off of the qualifying mark in Memphis. Osceola’s Charlie Danielson missed the cut by three shots in Springfield, Ohio.
AUDIO: Steve Stricker on “Talking Golf” on being denied an exemption by the USGA :16
AUDIO: Steve Stricker knows the U.S. Open will be a challenge :14
AUDIO: Steve Stricker is proud to earn his way into the field :14