US Golf Affiliation chief govt Mike Whan mentioned Wednesday he may foresee Saudi-backed LIV Golf gamers having a more durable time moving into future US Opens, however nothing has been determined.
On the eve of the 122nd US Open at The Nation Membership in Brookline, the place stars from each the US PGA Tour and upstart LIV Golf will compete, Whan mentioned he was unhappy over the game’s cut up however would not be drawn into potential future main bans.
“The query was may you envision a day the place it could be more durable for some people doing various things to get right into a US Open? I may,” Whan mentioned. “Do I do know what that day seems like? No, I do not.”
The PGA Tour imposed an indefinite suspension on 17 present or former members who performed the LIV Golf opener final week in England, together with US stars Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson.
“It acquired our consideration,” Whan mentioned of the bans.
However the USGA, with out talking to PGA commissioner Jay Monahan, determined final week to stick with pre-determined qualifying requirements for this week’s US Open, selecting to not ban rebels chasing document prize cash within the LIV Golf collection.
“We needed to make some robust selections that not all people agrees with,” Whan mentioned.
“I perceive if individuals wish to play a heck of rather a lot much less golf and receives a commission extra money, and that is a selection and that is nice. What meaning to the way forward for the sport? I believe to be decided.”
In justifying not banning LIV Golf gamers, Whan famous 30 PGA gamers had been allowed to compete at an DP World Tour occasion with the identical Saudi backers earlier this 12 months.
“We did sit down and have an extended dialog,” Whan mentioned. “Did the place any person else play and what promoter they performed it with disqualify them for this occasion? We determined no.”
Even when majors enable LIV gamers, there are not any world rating factors for LIV Golf occasions, so LIV gamers determine to fade from eligibility with out entry from prior triumphs.
Whan, a member of the world rankings board, mentioned LIV Golf has made no submission searching for such factors, however notes the way it has developed over time.
“What we’re speaking about was completely different two years in the past and it was completely different two months in the past than it’s right this moment,” he mentioned. “Everyone… we work with have to take a long-term view of this and see the place this stuff go.”
The USGA will re-examine its qualifying standards for subsequent 12 months as nicely.
‘You possibly can’t purchase historical past’
“I am saddened by what’s taking place within the skilled sport, largely as a fan as a result of I like watching one of the best gamers on the planet come collectively and play, and that is going to fracture that,” Whan mentioned.
“It seems prefer it’s good for a couple of people taking part in the sport, however I am combating how that is good for the sport.
“What considerations me essentially the most is we may get to the purpose the place a few individuals maintain these (management) strings and the way they act might or will not be nice for the sport.”
The $17.5 million US Open, providing lower than LIV’s $25 million debut occasion, has been overshadowed by LIV-PGA rift.
“We’re praying that modifications,” Whan mentioned. “As quickly as we tee this up, we’ll have one thing else to speak about, at the very least for the following 4 days.”
The world’s greatest are gathering on a format the place golf has been performed because the Eighteen Nineties.
“The ghosts of the previous matter,” USGA chief championships officer John Bodenhamer mentioned. “You possibly can’t purchase historical past. You possibly can solely earn it.”