European trio receive PGA Tour special temporary membership

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PGA: Genesis Open - First Round

February 16, 2017; Pacific Palisades, CA, USA; Thomas Pieters watches his shot from the third hole tee rough during the first round of the Genesis Open golf tournament at Riviera Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

REUTERS - European Tour players Thomas Pieters, Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood have accepted Special Temporary Membership of the U.S. PGA Tour for the remainder of the 2016-17 season, the U.S. tour said on Monday.

With a tied fifth finish at the WGC-Mexico Championship earlier this month, Belgian Pieters took his FedExCup points to 416, surpassing the points picked up by 150th-ranked player last season and making him eligible for the membership.

The 25-year-old, who was a captain's selection for Europe at the 2016 Ryder Cup, now owns 441 non-member FedExCup points after his tied 30th finish at the WGC-Dell Match Play in Texas last week.

England's Hatton and Fleetwood became eligible after top-10 finishes at the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier this month.

With the special membership, the three are eligible for unlimited sponsor exemptions for the rest of the season.

The PGA Tour now has 88 international members from 23 countries outside the United States.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)