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USGA Announced Amateur Champs Can Turn Pro, Play in US Open

The USGA announced on Monday their decision that, starting with this year’s tournaments, the reigning U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur champions will be able to utilize their exemptions in the following year’s U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open even if they decide to turn pro, according to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach.

Prior to the new rule, the amateur champions received exemptions in the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open only if they maintained their amateur status.

“We believe this change gives our champions an important option as they choose whether and when to embark on their professional careers,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA managing director, Champions. “Given the significant purses awarded at the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open, we realize how important it is for players to make the most appropriate decision for his or her career, and the positive impact it could have at the outset of their professional careers.”

“Given the opportunities afforded the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur champions, we want to make sure they are able to take advantage of as many as possible,” Bodenhamer said. “We feel strongly that our reigning champions have earned their places in the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open, regardless of their amateur status.”

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