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2-time champ Els gets US Open exemption

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) Two-time champion Ernie Els has been given a special exemption to the U.S. Open for the second straight year.

Els is the first player since Hale Irwin in 2002 and 2003 to receive special exemptions in consecutive years. Irwin is a three-time U.S. Open champion.

Els won the U.S. Open in a three-man playoff at Oakmont in 1994 and at Congressional in 1997.

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Stallings-Mullinax lead rainy Zurich

AVONDALE, La. (AP) Scott Stallings and Trey Mullinax shot a best-ball 11-under 61 to top the Zurich Classic leaderboard after a weather delay longer than seven hours prevented half of the 80 teams from even teeing off Thursday.

Stallings and Mullinax, who started on the back nine, birdied their last four holes at the TPC Louisiana - and seven of nine holes after the turn - for a one-stroke lead over two teams. Read More...

Smith leads Trophee Hassan after 66

RABAT, Morocco (AP) Jordan Smith of England carded a bogey-free 7-under 66 on Thursday to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the Trophee Hassan II.

Smith was a stroke ahead of 2014 champion Alejandro Canizares of Spain and American Sean Crocker, who also avoided any bogeys on the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course. Read More...

Weary Lewis, Green share LA Open lead

LOS ANGELES (AP) Worn out after two long nights with infant daughter Chesnee, Stacy Lewis shot a 6-under 65 on Thursday for a share of the lead with Hannah Green after the first round of the Hugel-Air Premia LA Open.

"I'm looking forward to get a little rest," Lewis said. "Really with the baby it's different every day. She could be in a great mood and all of a sudden she's screaming and you don't know why. And we're getting teeth, so it's just the age that she is." Read More...

Woods says he'll play new event in Japan

Masters champion Tiger Woods is adding to his international travels at the end of this year, announcing Wednesday night that he will compete in Japan for the first time in 13 years at the new Zozo Championship.

Woods said on Twitter that he was excited to play the new tournament and described Japan as "one of my favorite countries." Read More...

Masters win brings Tigermania back

The phone started ringing in the days after Tiger Woods won the Masters.

This was in Minnesota, though it could have been most any city that hosts a PGA Tour event. His 15th major, and most improbable considering what Woods had to overcome, set off a fresh round of Tigermania. Read More...

Thomas latest to launch foundation

Justin Thomas is the latest PGA Tour player to launch a foundation, and it wasn't anything he threw together overnight.

"We've been talking about it the last couple of years," Thomas said. "My mom has done an unbelievable job of making sure everything was done properly. We've talked to so many other athletes, their wives, people who have run other foundations who said, `If we had to do it over, make sure you to do this or do that.' There's no reason to do it if it's not done right." Read More...

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