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In the latest sign of thawing tensions in men’s professional golf, the chief executive of the USGA has discussed the possibility of LIV golfers gaining exemptions to the US Open.

It was announced on Tuesday that the PGA Championship has extended seven invites to LIV players, largely based on their form on the Saudi-backed circuit.

The PGA of America strives to host the best field in golf and invitations have now been given to Talor Gooch, Joaquin Niemann, Patrick Reed, Dean Burmester, Adrian Meronk, Lucas Herbert and David Puig.

A total of 16 LIV golfers will tee it up in Valhalla, three more than the contingency at last month’s Masters.

• Six LIV golfers receive PGA Championship invite

• LIV Golf transfer window: how does it work?

And all eyes will soon be on the bosses of the other major tournaments to accommodate LIV players, with past champion exemptions soon running out for some of the biggest names on the breakaway tour.

As it stands, there is no direct pathway through LIV but US Open chief Mike Whan has revealed that the idea will be explored if the league continues to operate independently from the traditional circuits.

“If you asked me a year ago, ‘What’s it going to be like in three months?’ I would have confidently given you an answer. I would have been confidently wrong,” Whan told Golfweek.

“If LIV stays as a separate entity and keeps the quality of players that it’s got, can I envision a pathway to the U.S. Open through LIV? I can, but I’d like to see what the final product is, and we’re just not exactly sure we know that yet.”

• Louis Oosthuizen’s PGA Championship ‘snub’ explained

• ‘Go seek help’ – Ian Poulter fires back at LIV Golf critics 

The Saudi Public Investment Fund which bankrolls LIV remains locked in talks with the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour over a deal which would unite the warring factions in the sport.

But amid the ongoing uncertainty, LIV are forging ahead with plans for 2025 and commissioner Greg Norman reiterated at last week’s stop in Singapore that his start-up is going nowhere.

It is unclear at this stage whether the USGA will offer any special invites into this year’s renewal of America’s national championship at Pinehurst, however.

A total of 35 LIV converts have entered US Open Final Qualifying, which is played played across 36 holes in events held from 20 May to 3 June.

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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