PGA Tour suspends players participating in LIV Golf series
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Rory McIlroy and a host of other stars are set to face a difficult challenge at the US Open this week. A video has gone viral showcasing the insane rough at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Last year, Jon Rahm romped to the title and became the first US Open champion from Spain as he finished with two sensational birdies to top Louis Oosthuizen by one stroke at Torrey Pines. An emotional Rahm dedicated the win to his late compatriot Seve Ballesteros, who won five major titles before dying of brain cancer at 54.
Rahm fired a final-round 67 for a six-under-par 278 total, and scored the title when Oosthuizen was unable to eagle the closing par-five. The duo were among the 9,265 golfers to enter the tournament, with the likes of Tiger Woods and McIlroy among 48 players – including 12 past US Open champions – who are exempt and have automatic qualification.
It will be interesting to see how they fare with the rough on display at Brookline. Breezy Golf posted the video, which showed a hand drop a golf ball into the rough, only for the ball to be completely engulfed and swallowed by grass.
“The rough at the US Open is no joke,” Breezy Golf wrote on Instagram. Fans used it as an opportunity to get excited for the third major of the year, with user @mrizzyrdh writing: “This is gonna be a nightmare… and I will love it! Happy #USOpen week!”
However, others used the opportunity to poke fun at the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf series. Upon seeing the rough, user @jonlacey1 added: “Deeper than LIV’s pockets”
The controversial LIV Golf series made its anticipated debut at The Centurion Club in St Albans last weekend, with the likes of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia headlining a rogue field. Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters champion, secured a one-stroke victory and a £3.86 million payout with a one-stroke victory while he also won the team event.
Schwartzel isn’t part of the US Open field but several of last week’s 48-man line-up are, including his Stinger GC teammates Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace, along with 2016 winner Dustin Johnson and six-time runner-up Phil Mickelson.
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Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and Pat Perez have committed to the second event set to take place in Portland from June 30-July 2, with several other PGA Tour players heavily linked to the Saudi-backed circuit. The PGA Tour will continue to suspend players wanting to join the LIV Golf Invitational Series, although it remains unclear whether that threat is enough to prevent others from joining.
McIlroy, who has quickly become the face of the anti-LIV PGA Tour with his outspoken comments and stunning play, successfully defended his RBC Canadian Open title – his 21st PGA Tour win and second of the season. The Northern Irishman will go into the US Open looking to win his fifth major title and first since 2014.
His play has seen him rise to World No. 3 in the rankings, while McIlroy displayed quality wedge game in Canada as he led the field in driving distance and strokes gained from tee to green. Afterr his win on Sunday, McIlroy added: “I proved this week that I can do that and hopefully get myself back into position to have to do that again next week.”
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