PGA Championship: Talor Gooch reacts to shocking invite despite LIV Golf OWGR beef

Talor Gooch has received a special invitation from the PGA of America to play in next week’s PGA Championship. So, there will be no asterisk next to the 2024 PGA Championship winner in the history books.

All jokes aside, Gooch, the LIV Golf star who has won three events on the Saudi-backed circuit, will tee it up at Valhalla Golf Club in his fifth straight PGA Championship appearance next week.

This is a surprising development considering the LIV star had done next to nothing outside of LIV to attempt to earn points and qualify.

He has gone so far as to state he will not even attempt to qualify for the U.S. Open. Gooch has publicly stated his disdain for the Official World Golf Rankings and it’s stronghold it has on LIV players’ ability to earn entry in the majors.

Following the news, Gooch took to social media to express some gratitude, though.

“Looking forward to Valhalla next week!” Gooch wrote.

“Thank you for the invitation @PGA. See y’all there.”

The 32-year-old has not seen great success at the PGA in his four prior appearances. He missed the cut at Oak Hill a year ago and tied for 20th at Southern Hills in 2022. The year before, when Phil Mickelson won at Kiawah Island, Gooch tied for 41st. In 2020, he failed to make the weekend at TPC Harding Park in his first PGA Championship appearance.

Earlier this year, in February, Gooch came under fire for some comments he made about Rory McIlroy possibly completing the career Grand Slam at Augusta National.

“If McIlroy goes and completes his Grand Slam without some of the best players in the world, there’s just going to be an asterisk,” Gooch said.

LIV Golf, Talor Gooch, Singapore

Talor Gooch at LIV Golf Singapore.
Photo by Jason Butler/Getty Images

“It’s just the reality. I think everybody wins whenever the majors figure out a way to get the best players in the world there.”

Since joining LIV Golf in 2022, Gooch—and many other LIV players—have slammed the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) for not awarding points to players who compete in LIV Golf events.

“This decision not to make them eligible is not political. It is entirely technical,” said Peter Dawson, the OWGR board chair, in October.

“LIV players are self-evidently good enough to be ranked. They’re just not playing in a format where they can be ranked equitably with the other 24 tours and thousands of players trying to compete on them.”

As such, Gooch has seen his OWGR ranking tumble significantly. But the PGA of America clearly sees value in adding him to its championship, which prides itself on being the “Greatest field in golf.”

He did not receive an invite from the United States Golf Association (USGA) to compete in the upcoming U.S. Open.

Yet, with Gooch’s inclusion into the 2024 PGA Championship field, 11 LIV Golf players will peg it into the ground at Valhalla.

Twenty-two-year-old LIV golfer David Puig also received an invite from the PGA of America, as he has won twice on the Asian Tour in the past eight months. Puig lost in a playoff to John Catlin in Macau, too.

The other nine LIV Golf players in next week’s PGA Championship field follows below:

  • Bryson DeChambeau
  • Tyrrell Hatton
  • Dustin Johnson
  • Martin Kaymer
  • Brooks Koepka
  • Phil Mickelson
  • Joaquin Niemann
  • Jon Rahm
  • Cameron Smith

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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