USGA is considering possible exemption for LIV golfers in the US Open

USGA is considering possible exemption for LIV golfers in the US Open

PINHURST, N.C. — The United States Golf Association will consider whether to create an exemption category that would make it easier for LIV Golf League players to qualify for the U.S. Open, CEO Mike Wann said Wednesday.

“We’ll talk about it this season, whether or not there needs to be a path for someone, or some people, who are performing really well on LIV and can get a chance to play that way,” Wan said before the show. The 124th U.S. Open, which begins Thursday at Pinehurst No. 2.

“I think we’re serious about it. Exactly what that looks like and how it’s going to be scaled back, I’m not ashamed. We just haven’t done that yet.”

There are 12 LIV Golf League players on the field this week, including former US Open champion Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Martin Kaymer.

Jon Rahm, winner of the 2021 US Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego, withdrew from the tournament on Tuesday due to a left foot injury.

“there [are] “There are no quotas that are out of bounds according to our field standards,” Wan said. “In other words, this major, maybe different from some other majors, you can get into. It’s not a closed field. It doesn’t require a committee or an invitation. If you want to play in this field, you have the opportunity to play in this field, and we’re proud of that.”

Kaymer, who won his last U.S. Open title at No. 2 Pinehurst in 2014, is in the final year of his 10-year exemption from the event. Six-time US Open runner-up Phil Mickelson will have just one year left on his five-year exemption to win the 2021 PGA Championship.

Three LIV Golf players – Dean Burmester, David Puig and Eugenio Chacarra – made the field during the final qualifiers. Sergio Garcia, who is playing in his 25th straight US Open, was added as an alternate from Monday’s final qualifier.

Whan said there were 35 LIV Golf players who qualified to compete in the final qualifiers, but most chose not to attempt to make the field.

“If they really wanted to be here, they could play 36 holes and qualify. Some have done that, and to their credit,” Wan said.

Wan noted that the potential path would not be “huge.” The USGA has exemptions for the winner of the BMW PGA European Championship and the top two finishers in the DP World Tour to Dubai standings from the previous season, as well as the top finisher in the current standings on May 20 who is not otherwise. righteous.

There is also one spot in the field for the points leader from the previous season on the Korn Ferry Tour.

According to Whan, the USGA will wait to see if the PGA Tour and Saudi Public Investment Fund reach some sort of agreement before making any decision on the paths of LIV Golf League players. The two sides met in New York on Friday, and a deal may be imminent in some capacity — though it appears it won’t reunite the rival constituencies soon.

“We’ve always felt over the last year and a half that we’ve always been three months away from understanding what the new structure will look like,” Wan said. “So before we say, ‘What is LIV? What is the PGA Tour?’ So we always felt like we were about to find out that answer, so let’s find out.”

“Now, I think the reason we’re being more vocal about looking at that next year is because maybe this is the new world order. And if that’s the case, we wanted to take a look at that.”

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