Phil Mickelson calls out Mike Whan of the USGA for the U.S. Open exemption rule change.

May, 2023

Talor Gooch has clinched back-to-back championships in the Saudi Arabian-backed LIV golf league. He’s currently ranked as 60th on the Official World Golf Ranking.

What does this mean?

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Gooch is eligible to play in the U.S. Open 2023 at Los Angeles Country Club. Top 60 in OWGR between May 22 and 12 are exempt from the tournament.

Gooch, despite his ranking in the system, thought he had already been exempted after qualifying for 2022 Tour Championship in Atlanta at East Lake. He didn’t play the event because he moved to LIV.

A recent rule change by the USGA has removed the ability to play golf based on a certain achievement.

In an email sent to Golfweek , a USGA representative wrote: “The USGA reviews its exemption criteria annually for all championships. We did so for the US Open in 2023.” We clarified a certain exemption category, stating that players must qualify and be eligible for the Tour Championship starting with the U.S. Open in 2023. The change wasn’t made retroactively but as part of our annual evaluation process, and was included in several other changes to the criteria for 2023.

Gooch is not too happy for obvious reasons.

Gooch stated on the “73 “rd hole” podcast that “that was obviously disappointing, because that new rule only affected me.” “That was tough and frustrating because LIV is still not rewarded with World Ranking Points, so I only have two options for qualifying for the U.S. Open. Either through my World Ranking which will be difficult, or by going the sectional qualification route.”

Phil Mickelson, USGA CEO Mike Whan’s boss, has been called out on Twitter for the exemption change.

Mickelson must win the U.S. Open in order to complete his career grand slam. His win at the PGA Championship in 2021 has given him an exemption into the field for next month.

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