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Sunday, July 14, 2024

PGA-LIV Feud Could Explode At US Open

  • It's the first time PGA Tour and LIV golfers share a course since a series of controversial defections to the Saudi-backed series.
  • LIV's $20M purses dwarf the US Open's $12.5M one from 2021.
Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

This week’s U.S. Open could witness the climax of weeks of bitterness and tension.

The event, which tees off Thursday from Brookline, Massachusetts, will represent the first time PGA Tour and LIV golfers share a course since a series of controversial defections to the Saudi-backed series.

Representing each competition is the Tour’s Rory McIlroy, who won last week’s RBC Canadian Open — passing LIV CEO Greg Norman for all-time wins — and LIV’s Dustin Johnson, the most notable player to defect after being offered $125 million.

This weekend, the performances of each former world No. 1 might spark even more enmity.

  • McIlroy has the best odds to win (+1000) in the field, while Johnson is T-14 but has the top odds (+3500) among LIV entrants.
  • McIlroy is seeking his fifth major win, and Johnson his third.
  • The 2021 U.S. Open paid out $2.3M to winner Jon Rahm from a $12.5M purse — the largest of any major.

The Tour’s payouts are infamously dwarfed by the $20 million purse for LIV’s inaugural tournament last weekend — with its $4 million payout to winner Charl Schwartzel representing the largest prize for a single tournament in golf history.

McIlroy upped the ante ahead of this weeked when he questioned the authenticity of Schwartzel’s win, saying the London tournament “meant nothing.”

Unfortunately, Schwartzel isn’t even in the field for the U.S. Open.

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