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LIV Golf players who are (and are not) in 2024 U.S. Open qualifiers

LIV Golf players who are (and are not) in 2024 U.S. Open qualifiers

U.S. Open qualifying is just around the corner, and LIV Golf players were asked about their plans ahead of this week’s event in Singapore.

During a Smash GC press conference featuring captain Brooks Koepka and his teammates Jason Kokrak, Graeme McDowell and Talor Gooch, both McDowell and Kokrak revealed they were playing in qualifiers for both the U.S. Open at Pinehurst (June 13-16) and Open Championship at Royal Troon (July 18-21).

“I personally am. Doing the U.S. Open in Columbus and then the Open in Manchester,” said Kokrak. “I plan on playing both of them.”

“Yeah, I’m the same. I’ve entered for both qualifiers. I think I’m in Florida Monday of Houston and then just south of London the Tuesday of the International Series Morocco, which I’ll go and play right after the Open qualifying series,” added McDowell. “Obviously I’ll be pulling hard (Koepka) in a couple weeks’ time (at the PGA Championship) but obviously trying to get into a couple majors myself.”

Gooch was short and sour with his response: “I’m not.”

After he was denied a spot in last year’s U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club after the USGA altered its exemption criteria, instead of fighting to try to earn his way again, Gooch tucked tail and decided to play the martyr instead of a qualifier. He’s doing the same again this year.

As of Thursday, 36 LIV players have entered U.S. Open qualifying while 11 have not. Eight players are already exempt into the third men’s major of the year: Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm, Cameron Smith, Martin Kaymer and Tyrrell Hatton.

Players like Mickelson and DeChambeau have called for the majors to create special exemption categories for LIV players, who have been fighting an uphill battle with regard to access to majors seeing as LIV events don’t receive Official World Golf Ranking points. The league has since pulled its application from consideration, all but closing that door as a way into the biggest tournaments on the calendar. Past champions of the Masters and the PGA have at least two set in stone, but the pair of Opens may require some effort from here on out.

While some players like Joaquin Niemann have continued to fight to play their way in, others expect to be given handouts. Golf has always been a meritocracy, you receive what you earn. The U.S. Open qualifier number shows the majority of LIV players understand that fact, but a handful still need a reminder.


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