BROOKLINE, Massachusetts — LIV Golf dominated the storylines at the US Open earlier this week at The Country Club, the controversial Saudi Arabia-backed Greg Norman-led rival league that caused a stir. To the point that Brooks Koepka, two-time US champion and four-time major winner, stepped out of the boat.
“I’m tired of the conversations. I’m tired of all this hassle,” he said on Tuesday. “Like I said, you’re all throwing a black cloud at the US Open. I think that’s stupid. I really feel sorry for (the USGA) for once because it’s an (expletive) situation.
Well, LIV Golf is not going away.
So let’s keep the LIV Golf conversation going by looking at how the competition’s players on the US Open field fared in Thursday’s first round.
Yes, let’s talk golf.
‘This is wrong’:Even this US senator is disgusted by Phil Mickelson and Saudi golf league
We followed Phil Mickelson and just listened:The reaction? What would you expect?
The USGA said there wasn’t enough time to make a decision on whether or not to ban the players from the national championship, so 15 stopped it; Commissioner Jay Monahan has indefinitely suspended players who played in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series event in London last week from the PGA Tour and will continue to ban players who join the rival league.
And folks, there are some contenders – which would of course lead us back to stories like the one earlier in the week that dealt with the competition’s impact on the PGA Tour and the alleged human rights atrocities in Saudi Arabia.
As the low LIV man came Dustin Johnson, the 2016 US Open champion who reportedly got $125 million to sign up for the new competition. He shot 2 under par 68, one shot better than James Piot, the 2021 American amateur champion.
‘They have made their bed’:Rory McIlroy becomes brazen leader of PGA Tour vs. LIV Golf ahead of US Open
Sign up for our sports newsletter:All the sports news you need to know is delivered right to you!
Patrick Reed, Shaun Norris and Richard Bland shot 70 each.
Bryson DeChambeau, the 2020 US Open champion who reportedly received more than $150 million to join LIV Golf, shot 71.
Sam Horsfield came home with a 73.
At 74 were Sergio Garcia and Talor Gooch.
At 75 Kevin was Na.
At age 76, Jinichiro were Kozuma and Branden Grace, who finished third in London last week at the inaugural event of the LIV Golf.
The other scores were not pretty. Louis Oosthuizen shot 77 and Phil Mickelson, who reportedly got $200 million to sign and went into seclusion over derogatory comments about the PGA Tour and the Saudi government, shot 78 on his 52nd birthday.
And Jed Morgan stumbled home to an 82.