Players taking part in the opening event of a controversial Saudi-backed golf series this week will be free to play in the US Open.
A statement from the United States Golf Association said barring players who have signed up to the lucrative LIV Golf Invitational Series would be “inappropriate and unfair”.
“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 statement read.
This year’s US Open takes place at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, from 16-19 June, and comes as the world of golf is in uproar over the launch of the money-spinning LIV Golf series.
Former world No 1 Dustin Johnson and six-time Major champion Phil Mickelson are among several household names who have signed up to LIV, despite threats of disciplinary action by the PGA Tour.
Whether players who split with established tours to join LIV Golf would still be allowed to play in golf’s four Majors has been one of the biggest uncertainties.
The USGA said in its statement on Tuesday its decision to allow LIV players into next week’s Open was not evidence of support for the new series.
“Our decision regarding our field for the 2022 US Open should not be construed as the USGA supporting an alternative organising entity, nor supportive of any individual player actions or comments,” the USGA said.
“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 offence that should disqualify them for the US Open.
“We simply asked ourselves this question – should a player who had earned his way into the 2022 US 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.”
© Agence France-Presse