Many have spoken at length about what could happen to golfers who defied the PGA Tour by competing in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series. But the USGA, the governing body of U.S.-based golf, had previously remained silent on its stance.
The USGA released a statement Tuesday clarifying that those players competing in London this week would be allowed to compete at the U.S. Open next week if they have qualified for the tournament.
“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,” the statement reads.
What’s The Impact?
The statement from the USGA allows for players such as Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, and Kevin Na to compete in the year’s third major. All of those players had earned exemptions either through past champion status or official world golf rankings.
The USGA clarified the announcement is not a form of supporting an alternative tour, but rather a reaffirmation of its already established criteria. The USGA’s stance seems to set the table for the R&A, the governing body that runs the Open Championship, to follow suit.
Response From PGA Tour Still to Come
The PGA Tour has yet to announce the consequences that members will face for defying the Tour’s denial of waivers to compete in the LIV Golf Series. Some players such as Johnson, Na, and Garcia have resigned their tour cards this week, all but avoiding those penalties.
The U.S. Open will begin June 16 at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.
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