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USGA Hints at Change of Course After 15 LIV Rebels Fail US Open Qualifier

Last Updated: July, 8 2024
USGA Hints at Change of Course After 15 LIV Rebels Fail US Open Qualifier

The USGA dropped a major hint this week that it may grant pathways for LIV Golf players into the U.S. Open, after a shocking number of breakaway stars failed to qualify.


A whopping 17 LIV rebels teed it up in Final Qualifying on Monday, looking to punch their tickets to Pinehurst next month. But in a reminder of just how deep the field is, only David Puig and Dean Burmester made the cut through the grueling 36-hole qualifier.


Photo: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports


Big names like 2010 champ Graeme McDowell came up short, missing out on the exemption from his lone major victory. Rising star Joaquin Niemann narrowly missed by a stroke, underlining how relentless the pressure is to qualify.


With LIV events not earning world ranking points yet, players have been left with little choice but to battle qualifying. But Monday showed that's now an uphill battle against the best amateurs and pros.


In response, USGA bigwig John Bodenhamer gave a pretty clear signal that things may change. He said they're deep in talks about ways to grant the top LIV guys entry into future Opens.


Bodenhamer seemed confident a pathway would emerge "at some point" to keep star players involved. And with 12 LIV stars already into Pinehurst through past results or qualifying, it sounds like the USGA wants to see more.


Of course, Bryson DeChambeau is safe as defending champ. But for others like McDowell, the early failures raise concerns over major status going forward.


By the sounds of it, the USGA may be LIV Golf's best hope for the breakaway crew to keep teeing it up in golf's biggest events as this saga rolls on.


Read more: SportsLine's Golf Model Predicts Surprises at 2024 U.S. Open


What are the reactions of LIV Golf players who missed the U.S. Open qualifying?


Graeme McDowell seemed pretty bummed about missing the U.S. Open cut. As defending champion from 2010, he was hoping his pedigree would carry him through but came up short.


Joaquin Niemann came very close, missing by just one shot. While disappointed, he took it well and was thankful for the PGA invite coming up. Always the class act, that guy.


Talor Gooch didn’t even bother trying to qualify, still pissed at the tours over everything. He’s been the most vocal critic of the system and wants nothing to do with it at this point.


No word from Charl Schwartzel but you know he’s gotta be scratching his head after coming up empty. All that LIV money and he still can’t play the majors - that’s gotta sting.


Lucas Herbert has been tearing it up lately so he would have fancied his chances. Even without commenting, you can imagine he’s deflated to miss his shot at Pinehurst now.


Overall though, these guys are getting fed up with being shut out from the biggest events. The qualifying failures only amplify their frustrations at the stalemate over LIV vs the tours.





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Sarah has a strong background in sports journalism, with a degree in journalism from a top university in the US. She has covered men's professional golf for over 10 years, attending major tournaments around the world and building an extensive network within the men's golf community. Her writing is known for its in-depth analysis, insider access, and ability to bring the drama and excitement of professional golf to life for readers.

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