Will LIV International Series golfers be allowed to play in the U.S. Open?
The USGA has published a statement about LIV players participating at Brookline
The U.S. Golf Association will allow those players who decided to participate in the LIV Golf Invitation London to compete in the U.S. Open. Players such as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and others who had previously qualified for the third major of the year will not be banned from competing.
The USGA will allow LIV participants to compete in the U.S. Open
The USGA posted a statement on Twitter Tuesday explaining the logic behind their decision: “We pride ourselves in being the most open championship in the world and the players who have earned the right to compete in this year’s championship, both via exemption and qualifying, will have the opportunity to do so. Our field criteria were set prior to entries opening earlier this year and it’s not appropriate, nor fair to competitors, to change criteria once established.”
Justification of their controversial decision
The Twitter post specifically addresses the golfers who chose to compete in the Saudi-backed LIV tour and states they will not be penalized for playing in London: “Regarding players who may choose to play in London this week, we simply asked ourselves this question — should a player who had earned his way into the 2022 U.S. Open, via our published field criteria, be pulled out of the field as a result of his decision to play in another event? And we ultimately decided that they should not.”
Non-endorsement of the LIV Invitational Tour
The ruling body of golf in the U.S. included a disclaimer at the end to make it clear that this decision in no way supports the new tour or the players’ decision to participate in it: “Our decision regarding our field for the 2022 U.S. Open should not be construed as the USGA supporting an alternative organizing entity, nor supportive of any individual player actions or comments. Rather, it is simply a response to whether or not the USGA views playing in an alternative event, without the consent of their home tour, an offense that should disqualify them for the U.S. Open.”
Mickelson will be at Brookline
This decision comes as a relief to the players who had already qualified for the U.S. Open and Phil Mickelson has already made clear his intention to play at Brookline after competing in the LIV event in London. ‘Lefty’ did not compete at the Masters of Augusta or the PGA Championship during a self-imposed hiatus after he made some unfortunate comments about the LIV Invitational Tour backers.
Other LIV golfers with U.S. Open exemptions
Some of the other big names have yet to announce their intention to compete in Massachusetts. Talor Gooch, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson Martin Kaymer, Louis Oosthuizen and Kevin Na have yet to announce their decision. Given the heat they have received from the press so far in London, some of them may prefer to stay out of the limelight.