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May 7th, 2024

***Talor Gooch handed PGA Championship Invite***

"Thanks for the invititation @PGA, see you there."

*** Put the asterisks away! While Tiger Woods' special exemption invite to the US Open should have come as no surprise, this news might....

Having attracted extensive backlash for his off-course comments comments regarding LIV Players' ineligibility for major championships, the wheels of golf have turned, once more, as LIV Golf 2023 champion Talor Gooch was invited to, and has accepted entry into, the PGA Championship (16-19 May) staged at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

Gooch had courted further criticism during a pre-event presser in Singapore at the start of the month, by admitting that he would absolutely not participate in qualifiers for the 2024 Open Championship (Royal Troon) and the US Open (Pinehurst) while his most memorable assertion, of course, was that, had Rory McIlroy triumphed at the Masters for the Career Slam, asterisks would need to appear against the success. Not that anyone LIV, DP World or PGA, was getting anywhere near absolute heater-show, Scottie Scheffler. No need for asterisks against this one.

WIth David Puig also receiving an invite (courtesy of two wins and three top fives on the Asian Tour) along with Joaquinn Niemann (who also contested in Augusta), LIV Golf should have at least 11 have starters in the field; two less than last month's Masters; including defending PGA champion Brooks Koepka.

On the eve of last year's event, Seth Waugh (PGA of America) was dismissive of the Saudi-backed league's viability, so Gooch's invite (along with Niemann and Puig, with others potentially to follow, represents a win for LIV.

The tournament is widely perceived as having the strongest field across the majors. Traditionally, the entire Top 100 are invited, though this doesn't constitute published criteria.

Kerry Haigh, PGA of America Championship Director, has re-iterated over the last couple of years that players from tours globally would be considered saying in March, "We look at all lists. If players are deserving, hopefully we would invite them."

The full field of 156 is expected to be published later today, as the PGA of America awaits responses from all invitees.

One thing's for sure, golf's elite level continues to evolve and will continue to produce incredible storylines for some time yet.....

TAGS: PGA Championship, 2024, Talor Gooch, LIV Golf, David Puig, Valhalla, Brooks Koepka, Tiger Woods, PGA of America, News