USGA CEO Hints at US Open Path for LIV Golf Players

USGA CEO Mike Whan hints at creating a direct entry route for LIV Golf players to participate in the prestigious US Open, addressing challenges faced by LIV players in accessing major events. The golfing landscape could see significant changes with a potential new pathway for LIV Golf athletes.

In a surprising revelation, USGA CEO Mike Whan recently hinted at the possibility of exploring a direct entry pathway for LIV Golf players to compete in the prestigious US Open. This admission comes shortly after the PGA Championship’s unexpected decision to extend last-minute invitations to seven LIV golfers for next week’s major tournament at Valhalla.

Among the LIV players set to tee off at the PGA Championship is defending champion Brooks Koepka, who will be joined by the likes of Talor Gooch, Joaquin Niemann, Patrick Reed, Dean Burmester, Adrian Meronk, Lucas Herbert, and David Puig. However, with LIV Golf abandoning its bid to gain Official World Golf Ranking points earlier this year, many of its players face an uphill battle to qualify for golf’s four major events.

While the option to compete in US Open qualifiers remains open to all, including LIV golfers, Whan has now suggested that the tournament may consider formalizing a direct entry pathway for LIV players should they continue to operate as a separate entity from the rest of the golfing ecosystem.

“If LIV stays as a separate entity and keeps the quality of players that it’s got, can I envision a pathway to the U.S. Open through LIV? I can, but I’d like to see what the final product is, and we’re just not exactly sure we know that yet,” Whan told Golfweek.

Any potential plans for a new qualifying pathway will likely remain in flux as the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which bankrolls LIV Golf, continues its negotiations with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour to find a resolution that could unite the rival factions.

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