USGA CEO Mike Wan has given his opinion on the fallout from the LIV Golf Invitational Series, suggesting that the US Open may issue a ban on players competing in the Saudi-backed series from next year.
Speaking to the press about it the day before the start of this year’s third major, Wan said, “Can I anticipate one day? Yes, I can anticipate one day. Do I know what that day looks like? No I don’t. To be honest with you, what are we talking about?” It was different two years ago, and it was different two months ago than it is today. But the question was, can you imagine a day when it would be difficult for some people to do different things to participate in the US Open? I can. Would that be true? I don’t know, but I can definitely anticipate that day.”
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Whan’s admission comes a week after the USGA released a statement saying it would allow LIV Golf Invitational Series players to remain in the US Open. Wan addressed the decision, saying, “I can’t build industry standards for my business based on what Mike Wan likes. We build industry standards. We publish it, let people play their way in or out, and that’s how we made the decision in 2022.”
Despite this decision, Wan admitted that qualification criteria are likely to change next year. He said, “I think there will be a lot of assumptions for me to get at what the LIV will be by the time we talk about it next year, but as we will in any year, we will definitely reassess the field parameters. We would like any year. We will take a look at what the landscape looks like.” Natural. I didn’t mean to send some sort of shiver that everything would change tomorrow, but when the question was asked, “Can you predict?”, of course I expected. What exactly may or may not look like it will depend on what happens to the landscape.”
Yesterday, Brooks Koepka and Colin Morikawa expressed their displeasure that most of the discussion centered on the series despite the proximity of the US Open, and Wan said he hopes all changes will change from Thursday. He said, “We pray that this changes tomorrow. So I can say you don’t have to ask how we feel about it, ask the 156 players trying to get to tomorrow. I think once we start this tomorrow morning we’ll have something else to talk about, at least in the the next four days.”
The first tee time is 6.45 AM EST (11.45 AM GMT). Defending champion Jon Ram is in a group fight with Colin Morikawa and James Peyte shortly after, at 7.18AM ET (12.18PM GMT).