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The US Open looks increasingly to create a dedicated pathway that will give leading LIV Golf players special exemptions into the major.

An 156-player field will compete at Pinehurst next week, but only 12 of those are contracted to the LIV circuit.

A host of LIV stars attempted to qualify for the third major of the season, but only two from 17 punched their ticket during the gruelling 36-hole Final Qualifying on Monday that is known as ‘Golf’s Longest Day’.

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Sergio Garcia and Joaquin Niemann were among those who missed out in qualifiers over the past fortnight.

None of the ‘big four’ tournaments currently offer a route for LIV players through their own tour, but that possibility is now being seriously discussed by the US Golf Association, the governing body in charge of the US Open.

John Bodenhamer – the Chief Championship Officer at the USGA – told the Golf Channel that a qualifying system could well be in the works.

“From the beginning, we’ve been open, [if] you earn your way in, you get to play, whether it’s through qualifying or exemption as the past champion.

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“You know, we’ve watched what is happening in professional golf unfold and we’ve seen a lot of good players go over to LIV, and so we’re thinking a lot about it, we’ve talked a lot about it.

“I think it’s reasonable to expect that at some point, yes, we would create a pathway or someway that we would get those great players, give them an opportunity to be unified again.

“We get a lot of them, and there will be a lot that will play this week through exemption, a number of past champions and qualifiers so, yeah, I think we’re looking very seriously at that.”

The LIV golfers in the field at Pinehurst No.2 next week include Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm, Cam Smith, Dustin Johnson, Martin Kaymer, Tyrrell Hatton, Adrian Meronk, Phil Mickelson, Eugenio Chacarra, David Puig and Dean Burmester.

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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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