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Curtis, Weekley gain wildcards for PGA Championship

Ben Curtis playing in the British Open at St Andrews earlier this month.
Ben Curtis playing in the British Open at St Andrews earlier this month.
  • Ben Curtis and Boo Weekley given special invites to U.S. PGA Championship
  • Simon Khan also joins 156-man field for next week's championship at Whistling Straits
  • South Korea's YE Yang was surprise winner last year, edging Tiger Woods

(CNN) -- Former British Open champion Ben Curtis and his fellow American Boo Weekley have been given special invitations to play in next week's U.S. PGA Championship.

The duo, who both played in the 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup team, were among those added to the 156-man field for the tournament at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin despite falling out of the top 100 in the world rankings.

Englishman Simon Khan, who won the PGA Championship at Wentworth in May, Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castro and South Korea's Noh Seung-Yul were also called up for the final major of the season.

Curtis had never recaptured the heights he reached in winning the Open at Sandwich in 2003.

His best performance at a major since then came at the U.S. PGA in 2008, when he finished in a tie for second.

Weekley, known for his mammoth drives, finished joint ninth at the championship in 2007 but has not won on the PGA Tour for two years.

Justin Leonard, who won the British Open in 1997, has also fallen out of the top 100 but earned a place in the event because of the prize money he has won since last year's PGA Championship.

South Korea's YE Yang, who held off Tiger Woods to claim the title last year, will begin his defense on August 12.

Two remaining berths in the tournament are being held for the winners of this week's WGC Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Turning Stone Championship.

If those players have already qualified, the top two players on the alternate list are American D.J. Trahan and Australian Matt Jones.