May 8, 2024

Aussie Lucas Herbert is among a whopping seven LIV Golf players to earn special invites to next week’s PGA Championship, the second major of the year, in what could be a shock thawing of ongoing tensions in the fractured golfing landscape.


Invitations into majors, which have strict qualification rules, for LIV players have been a bone of contention with very few ever given out.


This year’s Masters saw Augusta National break the mould by offering special invites to the in-form Joaquin Niemann and Adrian Meronk — the past two Australian Open winners.


The only place to watch every upcoming event on the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia live is on Fox Sports, available on Kayo >


Now PGA officials have broken down the walls further by rapidly expanding its own invite list to include Herbert along with fellow LIV stars Patrick Reed, Niemann, Dean Burmester, Meronk and David Puig.


An invitation was also offered to 2010 British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen, who declined due to a prior commitment, emphasising, perhaps, the surprise of the invitation.


Despite his claims the Masters winners for the past two years should have an “asterisk” next to their names without all LIV players being eligible, and having refused to attend US Open qualifying, Talor Gooch, a four-time LIV winner, also earnt a PGA invite as officials attempt to assemble the best field possible amid golf’s divided landscape.


LIV chief Greg Norman was swift to applaud the move, saying: “The only influence is the success of LIV, our players, our penetration/acceptance and our platform. The players deserve the respect and should have received it from day one.”




Herbert, who joined the all-Australian Ripper GC this season and has tasted team success at the past two LIV events, will be one of six Australians in the field at Valhalla.


He’ll join 2015 PGA winner Jason Day, Min Woo Lee, Cam Davis, Adam Scott and his LIV team captain Cam Smith, who needs a podium finish at least to get the rankings points boost he needs to keep his Olympic hopes alive.




There will be 16 LIV players in PGA field, which includes the world’s 103 top-ranked golfers, and Tiger Woods.


It means that the major will be a true meeting of the best male golfers, something which fans have been starved of since the emergence of LIV Golf in 2022.


However, given the PGA Tour is run separately from the year’s four majors, the golf world is still a long way off achieving re-unification.



Lucas Herbert with Australian teammates of LIV Golf’s Ripper GC in Adelaide.


“Here’s the thing: the majors were always gonna be fine,” wrote PGA Tour insider Dan Rapaport. “They can invite who they want. The Champions League of golf.


“It’s the week-to-week product that suffers with this divide.”


Meanwhile, Woods, a 15-time major winner, has struggled to walk four rounds in tournaments since suffering severe leg injuries in a 2021 car crash but finished 60th in last month’s Masters and says he hopes to play once a month through the US and British Opens.


Woods, ranked 801, has accepted a special invitation into next month’s US Open. He withdrew after three rounds in 2022 in his most recent PGA Championship start, skipping last year after ankle surgery.


Woods and four-time major winner Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland have each won PGA Championship titles at Valhalla — Woods in 2000 and McIlroy in 2014 in his most recent major triumph.



Day makes MONSTER putt! | 00:38

The PGA field includes 33 major winners, 16 of them former PGA Championship winners.


Two vacancies remain in the field of 156, awaiting winners of this week’s PGA Tour events if they are not already qualified for the showdown at Louisville, Kentucky.


The line-up includes top-ranked Scottie Scheffler, who won his second Masters title last month, and the rest of the top 103 players in the official world golf rankings.


Scheffler is skipping this week’s PGA Tour signature event to be with wife Meredith as she prepares to have a baby.


The field includes 21 club professionals, 20 qualifiers and Michael Block, who returns after sharing 15th last year at Oak Hill.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *