LIV Golf players struggled at the US Open on Thursday

BROOKLINE, Mass. – LIV Golf dominated the storylines earlier this week at the US Open at the Country Club, the controversial rival league backed by Saudi Arabia and led by Greg Norman causing a stir. So much so that two-time United States champion and four-time major winner Brooks Koepka unloaded.

“I’m tired of conversations. I’m sick of it all,” he said on Tuesday. “Like I said, y’all are throwing a dark cloud over the US Open. I think it sucks. I actually feel bad for (the USGA) for once because it’s a shitty situation. .

Well, LIV Golf isn’t going away.

So on that note, let’s continue the LIV Golf conversation by looking at how the league’s players in the US Open field fared in Thursday’s first round.

Yes, let’s talk golf.

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The USGA said there was not enough time to make a decision on whether or not to ban players from the National Championship, so 15 did so; Commissioner Jay Monahan has indefinitely suspended players from the PGA Tour who participated in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series event last week in London and will continue to suspend all players who join the rival league.

And folks, there are suitors – which, of course, would bring us back to stories like the ones earlier this week that touched on the league’s impact on the PGA Tour and alleged human rights atrocities. in Saudi Arabia.

Dustin Johnson, the 2016 US Open champion who reportedly got $125 million to sign with the new league, arrived as a low LIV guy. He shot 2 under par 68, one shot better than James Piot, the 2021 US amateur champion.

Patrick Reed, Shaun Norris and Richard Bland each shot 70.

Bryson DeChambeau, the 2020 US Open champion who would have been paid north of $150 million to join LIV Golf, shot 71.

Sam Horsfield came home with a 73.

At 74, Sergio Garcia and Talor Gooch.

At 75 was Kevin Na.

At 76, Jinichiro Kozuma and Branden Grace, who finished third last week in London at the inaugural LIV Golf event.

The other notes weren’t pretty. Louis Oosthuizen shot 77 and Phil Mickelson, who reportedly got $200 million to sign and self-isolated due to derogatory comments about the PGA Tour and the Saudi government, shot 78 of his 52n/a birthday.

And Jed Morgan limped home with an 82.

Michael C. Ford