Britian's best ever golfer Nick Faldo will play his 60th successive major at the US Open in two weeks after being handed a special invitation by the organisers.
Faldo had been considering making a dash to Maryland next week - one of 12 pre-qualifying venues - to make a late claim for a place but a meeting of the USGA this morning saved him the trouble by offering a late exemption.
Faldo, who has not missed a major since the first of his three Open triumphs, at Muirfield in 1987, and would have qualified automatically if he had finished second in the Volvo PGA Championship at Wentworth on Sunday.
His fourth place left him just outside the world's top 50 (at 61) but the USGA decided his recent run of form and his US Open record - he lost to Curtis Strange in a 1988 playoff, then missed another shoot-out two years later by one shot - had earn him an invitation alongside the winner that year Hale Irwin.
It's a fine gesture to a worthy champion, who has shown grit and determination of late - and not a little skill - and who feels he might still have another major in him if the conditions are right.
Bethpage State Park is the longest and one of the toughest in US Open history. There's no better player to grind out a level par score than Faldo.