Monday, 11 June 2012
Branden Grace   (Getty Images)
Branden Grace (Getty Images)

Branden Grace, a three-time winner on The European Tour this season, has earned one of the final exemption spots for this week’s US Open at The Olympic Club, San Francisco.

The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced that Grace and Spencer Levin have earned a full exemption, bringing the number of fully exempt players to 78. In addition, three alternates from sectional qualifying were added to complete the 156-player field.

Grace and Levin earned their exemption based on the current Official World Golf Ranking. Grace, who is ranked Number 54, has won the Joburg Open, Volvo Golf Champions and Volvo China Open this year since graduating from the Qualifying School last December. The 24-year-old South African will be making his first US Open appearance.

Levin, ranked 60th in the world, is playing in his third US Open. He tied for 13th as an amateur in 2004 at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club.

The USGA held five spots in the field for those players who could potentially qualify by being in the current top 60 of the Official World Golf Rankings. Since Grace and Levin were the only players to earn an exemption, three alternates from sectional qualifying have made the field. They are Justin Hicks, Kyle Thompson and Colt Knost.

Hicks, who will play in his fourth US Open, was the first alternate from the Columbus, Ohio, sectional. Thompson lost in a 3-for-1 play-off for the ninth and final spot in Memphis, Tennessee. Knost, a professional who was the second alternate from Columbus, won the 2007 US Amateur at The Olympic Club.

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