US Open 2022: USGA CEO explains why LIV Golf players were allowed to play, what their future holds

US Open 2022: USGA CEO explains why LIV Golf players were allowed to play, what their future holds

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As the US Open kicked off on Thursday, United States Golf Association (USGA) CEO Mike Whan explained why he decided to allow LIV Golf competitors to play in the third major tournament of the year.

LIV Golf competitors ruffled the feathers of the PGA Tour when they parted ways with the organization to play in the Saudi-backed league, and their return for the major has been put under the microscope.

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USGA CEO Mike Whan speaks to the media during a press conference during a practice prior to the 122nd US Open Championship at The Country Club on June 15, 2022 in Brookline, Massachusetts.

USGA CEO Mike Whan speaks to the media during a press conference during a practice prior to the 122nd US Open Championship at The Country Club on June 15, 2022 in Brookline, Massachusetts.
(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

“Whether we all like it or not, in February 30 guys played for the same promoter in Saudi Arabia with an acceptable exit from the PGA Tour, and for years the DP World Tour had an event there, same promoter “Whan said. Wednesday, via Golf.com. “We also had to ask the question, if you’re going to put that kind of clause, who goes in, we have to go back to 9,300 and have played last week but who ever played, where, sponsored by. It’s getting quite a slope slippery to try and apply that to 9,300 people.”

The USGA has been put in a tight spot over whether to ban players who have already qualified after jumping in at the last minute for LIV Golf. Ultimately, Whan said he didn’t think the players were disqualifying themselves from the US Open.

As for the future, Whan said it might be harder for those golfers to get in.

Dustin Johnson hits on the seventh hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open golf tournament at The Country Club, Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Brookline, Mass.

Dustin Johnson hits on the seventh hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open golf tournament at The Country Club, Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Brookline, Mass.
(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

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“It would be a lot of guesswork for me to get what LIV will be like by the time we talk about it next year, but as we would any year, we will definitely be reassessing the pitch criteria. We would like to n ‘any year,” he said. “We’ll take a look at what the landscape looks like.

When asked if LIV Golf players could be banned from the US Open in the future, Whan simply replied “Yes”.

Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Charl Schwartzel and Bryson DeChambeau are all taking part in the tournament.

Phil Mickelson watches his shot on the 15th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open golf tournament at The Country Club, Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Brookline, Mass.

Phil Mickelson watches his shot on the 15th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open golf tournament at The Country Club, Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Brookline, Mass.
(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

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Mickelson has never won the US Open – the only major tournament missing from his showcase. DeChambeau won the US Open in 2020, Johnson won it in 2016, and Reed’s best finish at the Open was fourth.

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