Golf: LIV golfers could face ban from future US Opens, says tournament boss Mike Whan

United States Golf Association Chief Executive Mike Whan said on Thursday (NZ time) he could foresee a day when it will be harder for those who joined LIV Golf to gain entry into the US Open but does not want to make a knee-jerk reaction on the matter.

The USGA last week cleared the way for LIV Golf players to compete in the June 16-19 US Open, saying it would be unfair to change a criteria once established and deny entry to those who already earned a spot in the field.

But Whan said players on the Saudi-funded breakaway series should not assume they will automatically have a free pass when it comes to future US Open tournaments.

"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," said Whan. "Will that be true? I don't know, but I can definitely foresee that day."

Given LIV, which lured players with the promise of big money, has only played one out of eight scheduled events in its inaugural season, Whan felt it was too soon to discuss potential changes to entry criteria for future US Open fields.

"It would be a lot of hypotheticals for me to get what LIV is going to be by the time we're talking about this next year," said Whan.

"But as we would do any year, we're going to definitely reevaluate field criteria. We would any year. We will take a look at what the landscape looks like.

"I didn't mean to send some sort of tremor that everything is going to change tomorrow, but when asked the question, could you foresee, of course I could foresee. What exactly that may or may not look like will depend on what happens to the landscape."

Talk about LIV Golf, which is funded by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and has rocked the sport to its core, has dominated the build-up to the year's third major.

The PGA Tour has suspended members who signed up to play with LIV Golf and said any others who make the jump will face the same fate but Whan feels it is best if the USGA holds off on taking any drastic measures.

"I've seen a lot of things get started in the game, a lot of things, maybe nothing with this amount of noise, don't get me wrong, or this amount of funding behind it, but I've also seen a lot of those things not be with us a couple years later, so don't know where this will lead or where it will go," Whan said.

"My job is to continue to bring in cohesion to the game, and I'm not going to stop doing that, but I'm also - one event doesn't change the way I think about the future of the sport."


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