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LIV Golf has become a fearsome rival to The PGA Tour as the number one professional golf tour in the world since its emergence in 2021. Building on Brooks Koepka’s success in The PGA Championship last May, LIV Golf will look to add more glory as it moves to conquer the 2023 US Open next.
They wooed away a sizable number of top PGA Tour players, with dramatically more lucrative deals. Major champions and former world number ones like Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, and Brooks Koepka jumped ship to LIV Golf in 2022. In petulant retaliation, The PGA Tour announced that members who participate in LIV Golf events would no longer be eligible to play in The PGA Tour.
LIV Golf has become a fearsome rival to The PGA Tour as the number one professional golf tour in the world since its emergence in 2021. Major champions and former world number ones like Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, and Brooks Koepka jumped ship to LIV Golf in 2022.
Helplessly, PGA Tour demanded compliance from “the four Majors”. The Masters Tournament, The PGA Championship, The US Open, and The Open Championship are neither owned, governed nor operated by the PGA Tour. It’s evident that LIV Golf players are allowed to play in any of the four major championships every year, as long as they meet the criteria for qualification.
Current rules decree any Major winner is exempt for all four tournaments for five years. Additionally, The Masters’ winners are exempt at Augusta for life, and PGA Championship winners can play at every future event until they choose not to.
The Open Championship winners are exempted until they are 60 years of age, while US Open winners are guaranteed an invite for 10 years.
The PGA Championship also invites any players who have featured in the most recent Ryder Cup, and who are ranked inside the World’s Top 100.
With LIV Golf players allowed to compete, sooner or later their players will eventually win any one of the Majors. In fact, this win surprisingly come rather quickly. On 21 May 2023, Brooks Koepka won The PGA Championship.
Koepka finished at nine under par for the tournament, winning his third career PGA Championship and fifth major championship by two shots over Viktor Hovland and Scottie Scheffler. With this victory, Koepka became the first LIV Golf member to win a major golf championship.
LIV Golf players already displayed their pedigree in the previous Major, The Masters Tournament on 9 April. The winner was PGA Tour player, John Rahm. But second place went to two LIV Golf players, Koepka and Phil Mickelson. The third Majors of the 2022-2023 PGA Tour is on the horizon.
The US Open is scheduled for 15-18 June, to be held on the North Course of Los Angeles Country Club, in Los Angeles, California. Currently there are 12 LIV Golf players scheduled to appear in the US Open. Brooks Koepka will be joined by fellow past champions Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Martin Kaymer, as well as Phil Mickelson, Cameron Smith, Joaquin Niemann, Abraham Ancer, Thomas Pieters, Mito Pereira, Sergio Garcia and Patrick Reed.
Considering that eight of these players already have at least one Majors title on their résumés, LIV Golf players could make an impact in the 2023 US Open as well. That would only serve LIV Golf in their quest to rival The PGA Tour. “I definitely think it helps LIV,” Koepka said, after his victory in the 2023 PGA Championship.
LIV Golf has now indubitably demonstrated that their league can compete – and beat – The PGA Tour, in terms of quality players.