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The majors and LIV Golf

PGA Championship 2024: LIV's Talor Gooch gets his wish—a spot to prove himself again in a major

May 06, 2024
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FAYEZ NURELDINE

Talor Gooch created some buzz in late February when the LIV Golf player suggested in an interview with Australian Golf Digest that a victory by Rory McIlroy in the Masters would come with an “asterisk” because Augusta would be without “some of the best players in the world.”

Now Gooch has a chance to go up against McIlroy and the rest of the PGA Tour in a major. The 2023 LIV player of the year announced on social media Monday that he received an invitation from the PGA of America to compete in next week’s PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville.

The PGA of America is expected to reveal on Tuesday its field for the year’s second major championship, and Gooch will be joined in the 156-man competition by another LIV golfer, Joaquin Niemann, who also was invited into the Masters and tied for 22nd.

Since joining LIV, which does not qualify for Official World Golf Ranking points, Niemann and Gooch have plummeted in the rankings, falling to 91st and 644th, respectively. While Niemann has attempted to gain ranking points by playing in events on the DP World Tour and Asian Tour, Gooch has competed in just one of those tournaments, at the Hong Kong Open last November. He said last week at LIV’s event in Singapore that he would not attempt to advance through qualifying for the upcoming U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.

Last season, Gooch won three times on LIV and this year he is No. 8 in the individual standings with three top-10 finishes, including a runner-up in Las Vegas. Gooch, 32, has one PGA Tour win, in the 2021 RSM Classic, and in 11 major starts, his best finish is a T-14 in the ’22 Masters. He’s made four appearances in the PGA, with two missed cuts and a top result of T-20 at Southern Hills in ’22.