Macpherson, Ko secure US Open exemptions

The United States Golf Association has announced an expanded list of exemptions for international amateur players, beginning in 2012, for the US Open and US Amateur championships.

The winners of the British Amateur as well as the winners of the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the top-ranked male on the World Amateur Golf Ranking will be fully exempt from qualifying for the US Open Championship.

Bryden Macpherson Bryden Macpherson (Credit: Anthony Powter)

The winners must remain amateurs to retain the exemption.

The changes mean that US-based Australian Bryden Macpherson gets a start in the 2012 US Open as the 2011 British Amateur champion.

New Zealand’s 14-year-old superstar, Lydia Ko, who was awarded the first ever women’s Mark H McCormack Medal late last year, will get a chance to add to her already impressive resume with an exemption into the 2012 US Women’s Open to be played at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wisconsin from July 5-8.

Ko recently became the youngest player to win a professional event, after claiming the 2012 New South Wales Open by four strokes.

Patrick Cantlay also gains entry as the number one world amateur.

“These exemptions reflect our strong partnership with The R&A and the value we place on amateur golf and our support for the World Amateur Golf Ranking,” said USGA Executive Director Mike Davis.

“We regularly review our exemption categories and believe the changes we will implement will lead to stronger fields and more exciting championships.”

The exemption changes build upon recent USGA announcements regarding their championships.

The top 75 point leaders under the R&A World Ranking and anyone tying for 75th place at the close of entries will gain entry into the US Amateur Public Links championship.

The US Amateur championship, to be played at Cherry Hills Country Club in Colorado in August, will exempt the top-50 players under the R&A World Ranking at the close of entries and the top-eight finishers and ties from the 2010 World Amateur Team Championship.

Another new exemption category to the US Amateur includes the winners of the most current Asian Amateur, Mexican Amateur and Canadian Amateur Championships.