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Two Wisconsinites, Both going to Erin Hills

Joe Zenzola
June 06, 2017 - 5:05 pm

Congratulations to Steve Stricker and Jordan Niebrugge on qualifying for the U.S. Open!

If you recall, Steve Stricker was denied a request for a special exemption to play at Erin Hills by the USGA. Altougth he was trying to avoid controversey last week at the AmFam Championship Media Day, Stricker did express his disappointment after being rejected. Both sides had a point though...

In Stricker's defense, he continues to play at a very high level at the age of 50. He's Wisconsin's best pro golfer. Could the U.S. Open get more buzz just because Stricker is playing? Absolutely.

However, I see it from the USGA's standpoint as well. They RARELY grant special exemptions to pros that don't fall under one of these categories. Stricker also has never won a Major Tournament. If they were to have allowed Stricker to be exempt, it opens Pandora's box. More golfers could try and protest that they deserve to play at future venues, and thus, avoid U.S. Open Qualifying Tournaments. You may not like how the USGA goes about its business from time-to-time, but you have to respect how they continue to stick to their core values for earning the right to play in this Major.

In the end, after firing rounds of 67 and 65 in sectional qualifying to win outright in Memphis, Stricker proved he was worthy to compete. It's awesome he's playing, and I believe he has a good chance at making the cut at Erin Hills.

There's also Jordan Niebrugge. Competing in both the 2014 Masters and 2015 British Open as an amateur, the Oklahoma State product and Mequon native turned pro in 2016. He currently plays on the PGA Canadian Tour, and finished tied for second in the Tacoma Sectional to punch his ticket to the U.S. Open. UPDATE: Niebrugge will join us Wednesday on The Bill Michaels Show at 10:35am!

It's a pretty cool deal, and it's pretty special to see two Wisconsinities tee it up NEXT WEEK!

Bill Michaels and I talked more about it earlier today on the show.

Don't forget! Bill will be broadcasting this Thursday at Erin Hills for the pre-championship opening of the merchandise pavilion! And thanks to our mobile studio sponsor Fairways of Woodside for being apart of the coverage!

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