Can LIV Golf Players Play In The US Open?

The USGA has allowed LIV Golf competitors who have qualified for the US Open to remain in the field...this year at least

Phil Mickelson pictured
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The USGA announced that golfers who have qualified for the US Open and are involved in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series can remain in the US Open field for this year.

The LIV Golf Invitational Series field for the $25m Centurion Club opener featured the likes of six-time US Open runner-up Phil Mickelson, 2016 winner Dustin Johnson, last year's runner-up Louis Oosthuizen and 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia, as well as a number of others who have qualified for the year's second men's Major at The Country Club in Brookline.

The governing body said that its decision "should not be construed as the USGA supporting an alternative organizing entity, nor supportive of any individual player actions or comments."


USGA CEO Mike Whan elaborated on why he allowed LIV Golf players to tee it up at the US Open prior to the tournament's start in his press conference. "I'm not really sure my answer is what you like or what everybody likes" he said. "We definitely feel responsibility to this game, and we feel a responsibility to the competitors that play it. We did sit down and have a long conversation about a week before the US Open, did where somebody else play and what promoter they played it with, disqualify them for this event? We decided no on that, with all the awareness that not everyone would agree with that decision."

Whan also didn't rule out stopping LIV Golf competitors from entering future US Opens. "Could I foresee a day? Yeah, I could foresee a day," he said. "Do I know what that day looks like? No, I don’t. To be honest with you, what we’re talking about was different two years ago, and it was different two months ago than it is today. But 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. Will that be true? I don’t know, but I can definitely foresee that day.”

The baton will now be handed to the R&A, who, as organisers of an 'Open' themselves, will likely go on to make the same decision as the USGA. Augusta National and the PGA of America have more time to make their decisions on whether to ban LIV Golf Invitational Series players from playing in the Majors.

USGA Statement on LIV Golf

"We pride ourselves in being the most open championship in the world and the players who have earned the right to compete in this year’s championship, both via exemption and qualifying, will have the opportunity to do so," the USGA said in a statement. "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. 

"Regarding players who may choose to play in London this week, we simply asked ourselves this question -- should a player who had earned his way into the 2022 U.S. Open, via our published field criteria, be pulled out of the field as a result of his decision to play in another event? And we ultimately decided that they should not.

"Our decision regarding our field for the 2022 U.S. Open should not be construed as the USGA supporting an alternative organizing entity, nor supportive of any individual player actions or comments. Rather, it is simply a response to whether or not the USGA views playing in an alternative event, without the consent of their home tour, an offense that should disqualify them for the U.S. Open. "

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x