SAN FRANCISCO - Reigning US Open golf champion Rory McIlroy will be imortalized by baseball's San Francisco Giants as a bobblehead doll, a small statue with its head attached to a spring so it will wobble.
The Giants will stage Irish Heritage Night as a promotion before a Major League Baseball home game against Houston on June 12, two days before the start of McIlroy's US Open title defense at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.
A giveaway item for special event ticket holders attending the game will be the bobblehead doll, which features Northern Ireland's McIlroy wearing a Giants' black cap with SF in orange lettering.
Bobblehead McIlroy is clad in an orange short-sleeved shirt with white pants and black shoes. His left hand is posed on his left hip while his right hand is holding the top of a golf club.
Such items help entice ticket sales, although most bobbleheads are of players from the host team.
But McIlroy is in good company as a non-Giant bobblehead. A promotion later in June features a garlic-headed bobblehead of Herbie, mascot of the nearby Gilroy Garlic Festival, clad in a Giants' uniform.
McIlroy, 23, won his first major golf crown last June at Congressional Country Club in Washington, taking the US Open by eight strokes.
Els among latest to secure US Open spots: Two-time US Open winner Ernie Els was among 24 golfers who were confirmed on Wednesday as having earned berths in next month's US Open based upon a top-60 spot in this week's world rankings. The US Golf Association announced the update to the exemption list, which now has a total of 77 players with a place in the year's second major championship, to be played June 14-17 at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. Els, who won the 1994 and 1997 US Opens as well as the 2002 British Open, missed out on the Masters last month after failing to win the PGA Transitions in March and just missing out based upon ranking spots. This time, Els was safely among the top 60 to earn exemptions at 44th in the rankings.
Others who joined the field based upon Monday's rankings include South Koreans Bae Sang-Moon and Kim Kyung-Tae, Japan's Ryo Ishikawa, Denmark's Thomas Bjorn and Anders Hansen, Sweden's Carl Pettersson and Robert Karlsson, Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, Scotland's Martin Laird and Italy's Francesco Molinari.
Also added to the lineup were England's Simon Dyson, Paul Casey, Ian Poulter and Robert Rock; Spaniards Alvaro Quiros, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Americans Ben Crane, Rickie Fowler, Zach Johnson, Kevin Na, and Kyle Stanley. Those not already in the field can still book a berth by finishing in the top 60 of the world rankings released on June 11. Also, the winner of this week's European Tour BMW PGA Championship earns an exemption from qualifying.
Sectional qualifying began on Monday in Japan and continues next Monday in England with 11 US sites hosting events on June 4.