The 122nd US Open (Golf) Championship gets underway today in Brookline, Massachusetts, but the spotlight still hasn’t shifted from the split in the sport, caused by the new Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series.
On Wednesday evening, US Golf Association chief executive Mike Whan suggested that players who have moved to LIV Golf may having a hard time entering the US Open in the future. Stars from both the PGA Tour and LIV are competing in this year’s US Open.
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“The question was could you envision a day where it would be harder for some folks doing different things to get into a US Open? I could,” Whan told AFP. “Do I know what that day looks like? No, I don't.”
The PGA Tour has suspended 17 current or former members who played the inaugural LIV Golf Series, which offers record prize money of $25 million and incentives to players, last week in the UK. These include US players Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson. The US Open offers $17.5 million in prize money. The PGA Tour’s purse for The Players Championship is $20 million.
“I understand if people want to play a heck of a lot less golf and get paid more money, and that's a choice and that's great. What that means to the future of the game? I think [it has] to be determined,” AFP quoted Whan as saying. “I'm saddened by what's happening in the professional game, mostly as a fan because I like watching the best players in the world come together and play, and this is going to fracture that.”
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