Jimenez gets the nod for US Open
Spanish golfer Miguel Angel Jimenez gives the thumbs-up to spectators during the second round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey, England, on May 23, 2014 - by Glyn Kirk
The US Golf Association said that Jimenez, the 2000 US Open runner-up, and the rest were awarded exemptions by virtue of earning a place in the top 60 of the world golf rankings as of Monday.
The announcement comes less than 10 days after the 50-year-old Jimenez extended his own record as the oldest player to win an European Tour event with a playoff triumph in the Spanish Open.
Fourteen of Jimenez's 21 European titles have come since he turned 40 and he showed he can still compete with the best in the world last month when he finished fourth at the Masters at Augusta.
Currently ranked 27th in the world, he'll get a chance to tackle the second major championship of the season when the US Open is played June 12-15 at Pinehurst in North Carolina.
The other players who earned full exemptions through the current rankings are: Thomas Bjorn, Jonas Blixt, Jamie Donaldson, Victor Dubuisson, Harris English, Matthew Every, Stephen Gallacher, Russell Henley, Thongchai Jaidee, Matt Jones, Chris Kirk, Pablo Larrazabal, Joost Luiten, Francesco Molinari, Ryan Moore, Ryan Palmer, Ian Poulter, Patrick Reed, John Senden, Kevin Stadler, Richard Sterne, Brendon Todd, Jimmy Walker and Lee Westwood.
The first two sectional qualifiers for the tournament were held on Sunday in Japan, where six spots in the 156-player field were determined, and in Surrey, England, where 14 players qualified. Those 20 players are in addition to the 75 players declared fully exempt so far.