PGA of America’s shock invite for LIV star


Talor Gooch has 0 major wins and a T-20th finish in 2022 as his best at the PGA Championship

With LIV Tour players banned from playing both the US PGA and European Tours, the majors remain as one of the few opportunities for them to prove their global competitiveness and maintain their world rankings. 

While the four majors rightly send invitations to major champions like Cam Smith, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau etc as expected, when the PGA Championship sent an invite last week to a player who has only a good 2023 LIV Tour season to his credit, it comes as a shock to the world of golf.  32-year-old Talor Gooch, the 2023 season long individual champion on LIV Golf has been awarded a surprise special exemption to the PGA Championship in America based, it appears, solely on his performances  on the LIV Golf Tour. 



This  is a significant step forward from the PGA of America, ( different from the PGA Tour) which decided in favour of Gooch. Interestingly, last month, The Masters denied Gooch a spot, so the PGA of America has indirectly shown The Masters what they think. 

So the question arises, even though the World Rankings board isn’t interested in awarding ranking points to LIV, are golf’s governing bodies going to award exemptions to top LIV players in the coming future too? And set a new narrative? Will the US Golf Association provide Gooch with an exemption to June’s US Open? Unless Gooch serves up a surprise top 10 finish this week, it’s highly unlikely. 

Gooch, meanwhile, says he will not bother to try to qualify for this year’s US Open at Pinehurst or the (British) Open Championship at Royal Troon, Scotland, while dozens if his LIV colleagues have indeed entered the qualifiers. 

Performances by LIV players at the major championships is important to maintain the credibility of the LIV tour as a competitive league. With shotgun starts and 54 hole tournaments with limited fields of just 48 players, the league is criticised as causing its stars to lose their competitive edge. 

With good performances by some of the LIV stars so far at the majors in 2023 and 2024, the jury is still out – will the LIV stars fade over time or will their games stay as sharp as those playing on the PGA and DP World ( European) Tours ? 

Time will tell and we at IGW are certainly going to be analysing their performances for our readers. 


Photo – Golf Magazine

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