Mike Whan, the CEO of the USGA (in the center of the photo), indicated during a press conference this Wednesday at Brookline, his intention to exclude for the next US Open, players who joined the LIV Golf Invitational Series. Players will be allowed to play the 150th The Open, but it could be that the tournament bodies will move in the same direction as the USGA for the next few years.

US Open Exclusion of LIV Golf players from majors after 2022

©Chris Keane/USGA

The USGA's decision to go ahead with this week's US Open, regardless of the fallout from the LIV Golf events, was both nuanced and not easy.

USGA CEO Mike Whan said Wednesday that the organization's decision to allow those players, who were suspended by the PGA Tour for playing LIV, to compete in the US Open was twofold. The roster includes former US Open champions Dustin Johnson, Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell, as well as six-time runner-up Phil Mickelson.

“We sat down and had a long chat about a week before the US Open – does the place a player played and the promoter they played with disqualify them from this event? We decided not to do it, knowing that not everyone would agree with this decision”, Mr. Whan told the Country Club.

The timing of the Tour suspensions, which followed the start of the first LIV Golf event last Thursday in London, weighed in on the USGA's decision, as did the scope of any eventual decision to ban players from this week's Championship.

“Whether we like it or not, in February 30 guys played for the same promoter in Saudi Arabia with exceptional clearance from the PGA Tour, and for years the DP World Tour had an event there, with the same promoter », Whan said of LIV Golf, which is backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund. “We asked ourselves the following question: a week before the US Open, if you play somewhere where you are not allowed to play, would you be disqualified for the US Open 2022? And we decided not to. »

“We also had to ask ourselves the following question: if you put this kind of clause, who will be admitted? We have to go back to the 9 people [the number of qualified applicants], who has played before, where, and who has been sponsored? It becomes quite a slippery slope to try to apply this to 300 people”.

Mike Whan pointed out that the decision to allow players like Johnson and Mickelson to play was limited to this week and, when asked if he could foresee a scenario where LIV Golf players would be banned from the US Open, he replied, quite simply, " Yes ".

“I don't have to build my field criteria based on what Mike Whan likes or what [USGA officials] like. We establish a field criterion »said Whan. "We post them, and we let people make their way in or out of them, and that's how we made the decision for 2022."

Despite these announcements, another major winner and former world number 1 joined the LIV Golf teams: Brooks Koepka. The double winner of the US Open and the PGA Championship had however claimed to support the PGA Tour a few months earlier but will indeed participate in the second tournament of the LIV Series.


The instances of The Open seem to be taking the same direction as the direction of the majors across the Atlantic. Indeed, the last major of the season is approaching and this edition is a historic edition since it will be the 150th British Open, hosted by none other than the Old Course of Saint Andrews.

Players who have participated in LIV Golf will indeed be able to participate in The Open 2022. The Royal & Ancien believes that the players have obtained their qualification before the start of this event, in accordance with the established rules and respecting the criteria. The management of The Open wants this 150th edition of the British Open to be a great celebration, bringing together the elite of world golf.

However, some rumors claim that the PGA Tour would like to counterattack by increasing the Prize-money of certain tournaments. Even if it remains the busiest circuit in the world, the PGA Tour seems to follow the LIV Golf model and start a real race for money and Prize money.

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