US Open: Paul McGinley on the ‘divisive’ situation in golf since the launch of LIV Golf series

Paul McGinley

Golf Columnist

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Last Updated: 16/06/22 5:58am


Paul McGinley used Mo Salah and the Premier League to help explain how the LIV Golf Series is different from the structure and organisation of the PGA and DP World tours

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Paul McGinley used Mo Salah and the Premier League to help explain how the LIV Golf Series is different from the structure and organisation of the PGA and DP World tours

Paul McGinley used Mo Salah and the Premier League to help explain how the LIV Golf Series is different from the structure and organisation of the PGA and DP World tours

Paul McGinley discusses how golf’s main tours will react to the LIV Golf Invitational Series and assesses Rory McIlroy’s chances of ending his major drought at the US Open…

The current situation in golf is divisive, as it has divided the players, it has divided the fans, it has diluted the product of golf and created a lot of confusion in the game for everybody involved. It’s not a good reflection on the sport.

There’s a strategic alliance that has already been in place for a number of years now between the DP World Tour in Europe and PGA Tour. We are the two dominant tours in the world before LIV Golf came on the scene.

Billy Horschel says he doesn't understand why players who are in the prime of their careers have decided to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series

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Billy Horschel says he doesn’t understand why players who are in the prime of their careers have decided to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series

Billy Horschel says he doesn’t understand why players who are in the prime of their careers have decided to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series

The idea was that at one stage we would go further in that relationship and unite, maybe creating pathways between the two tours and for Europe to take a lead in giving an international flavour to the PGA Tour, with some high-profile events to complement the very American-centric existing platform the PGA Tour currently is.

I’m hopefully that vision is going to evolve and maybe even be accelerated, as happenings with the emergence of LIV Golf over the past month may well have forced the potential of that alliance to become something bigger. The rumours are that Keith Pelley has been playing both sides here, but as far as I know – and I’m on the board – we’re playing one side.

2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen believes the PGA Tour and LIV Golf Series can coexist but says he is grateful to the PGA Tour for his career up until now

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2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen believes the PGA Tour and LIV Golf Series can coexist but says he is grateful to the PGA Tour for his career up until now

2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen believes the PGA Tour and LIV Golf Series can coexist but says he is grateful to the PGA Tour for his career up until now

We’re very much engaged with the PGA Tour. Our partnership has worked incredibly well over the past couple of years with some great collaborations on events and shared commercials, like new sponsors for the Scottish and Irish Opens both coming from the PGA Tour’s contact book.

We have outlined plans over the last year or so in terms of what we can do to further value both tours and the members on both, so that’s a pathway we’re on.

Five-time winner Rickie Fowler says the PGA Tour 'needs to evolve' in order to keep the best players, and admits he is interested by the sound of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series

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Five-time winner Rickie Fowler says the PGA Tour ‘needs to evolve’ in order to keep the best players, and admits he is interested by the sound of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series

Five-time winner Rickie Fowler says the PGA Tour ‘needs to evolve’ in order to keep the best players, and admits he is interested by the sound of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series

Maybe what’s happened over the last month is going to accelerate a bigger partnership than just a strategic alliance. At the moment we’re waiting on that, and there’s conversations going on between those Tours, so hopefully they’re going to come to fruition.

What is clear at the moment, with LIV Golf being 54-hole events and not offering any world ranking points, the guys who are top-50 in the world are slowly going to lose their ranking and fall outside the top 50.

Rory McIlroy says the controversy over players joining the LIV Golf Series will continue to fracture the game until agreements and compromises are reached

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Rory McIlroy says the controversy over players joining the LIV Golf Series will continue to fracture the game until agreements and compromises are reached

Rory McIlroy says the controversy over players joining the LIV Golf Series will continue to fracture the game until agreements and compromises are reached

The only guys who will probably be eligible by the time next year comes around at the Masters in April could well be past champions, under the current criteria, because the others may all have fallen out of the top-50. It will be interested to see what is going to happen, as there are so many things and scenarios that can play out.

Behind the scenes there is a lot of turmoil in the game, a lot of divisiveness, and we’re in danger of having a very diluted product. Hopefully we’re going to have a solution where all parties will be happy with some kind of solution, but that’s going to take a lot of time, a lot of negotiation and a lot of will.

Brooks Koepka became frustrated at the line of questioning he faced during his US Open press conference, saying that journalists are 'throwing a dark cloud' over the competition

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Brooks Koepka became frustrated at the line of questioning he faced during his US Open press conference, saying that journalists are ‘throwing a dark cloud’ over the competition

Brooks Koepka became frustrated at the line of questioning he faced during his US Open press conference, saying that journalists are ‘throwing a dark cloud’ over the competition

It has been described as a black cloud over the US Open, although I’m not sure I would go that strong. It is a major championship and there’s going to be sell-out crowds here this week and it is going to be a fantastic event.

Can McIlroy go back-to-back?

How can you not think Rory McIlroy has a good chance this week? He comes in with a huge amount of confidence from his performance in Canada last week. There has been a great trend in his game and he has already had two big performances in the majors this year.

Rory McIlroy says he hopes he can reproduce the momentum he had on Sunday which led him to winning the RBC Canadian Open last week, as he looks for a first major since 2014

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Rory McIlroy says he hopes he can reproduce the momentum he had on Sunday which led him to winning the RBC Canadian Open last week, as he looks for a first major since 2014

Rory McIlroy says he hopes he can reproduce the momentum he had on Sunday which led him to winning the RBC Canadian Open last week, as he looks for a first major since 2014

We’re seeing his short game in particular came to the fore, almost to the point where we can say his short game is almost as good, if not better than his long game – when have we ever said that about Rory McIlroy before?!

He dominated the whole field with his short game inside 150 yards last week and short game is going to be key around here this week, because there are going to be mistakes made and the ability to recover is going to be decisive.

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It’s very difficult as we all know to back up one win with another, especially when it comes to major championships, so the odds are against in that regard. Having said that, he’s coming in with as much confidence as he’s had in probably 10 years I would say – that’s how good his golf game is.

‘An iconic US Open venue’

This golf course is 140 years old and is very old-fashioned in its style and its tradition. Yes, they’ve put on a few hundred yards over the years since a major was last held here in 1988, but that’s still only 7,250 yards which isn’t particularly long by modern standards.

Matthew Fitzpatrick is looking to move on from the disappointment he suffered at the PGA Championship where he finished two shots behind the eventual winner

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Matthew Fitzpatrick is looking to move on from the disappointment he suffered at the PGA Championship where he finished two shots behind the eventual winner

Matthew Fitzpatrick is looking to move on from the disappointment he suffered at the PGA Championship where he finished two shots behind the eventual winner

What we’ve got is a real good dynamic, as it’s an old-fashioned golf course that’s not particularly long, but it has a lot of difficulty to it. There are very small greens with a lot of slope on them, so it’s a throwback in terms of architecture.

You can’t overpower around here without challenges and it’s key to slowly pick it apart. The ability to scramble is going to be key, so it’s going to be a typical US Open exam.

Who will win the US Open? Watch throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday from 1pm on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event.

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