Jun 16, 2022 - Sports

U.S. Golf CEO: Banning LIV golfers would be "slippery slope"

USGA CEO Mike Whan. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Banning players who participate in LIV Golf would be a "slippery slope" for the U.S. Golf Association, USGA CEO Mike Whan said at a news conference Wednesday, according to ESPN.

Driving the news: The PGA Tour last week suspended 17 golfers who are taking part in the LIV Golf's first tournament, which is funded by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and meant to rival the main professional golf tours.

State of play: LIV Golf has poached some of the world's best golfers, like Phil Mickelson, by offering higher amount purses and sign-on fees.

Details: Whan said banning golfers who compete with LIV Golf would require the USGA to go through the playing history of all 9,300 athletes who tried to qualify for the U.S. Open.

  • "It becomes a pretty slippery slope to try to apply that across 9,300 people," Whan said.
  • Whan added that he could see suspensions coming in the future.

What he's saying: "[We asked ourselves], 'Did where somebody else play and what promoter they played it with disqualify them for this event?' We decided no on that, with all the awareness that not everyone would agree with that decision," Whan said per ESPN.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series

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