PGA Players Feel Betrayed By LIV Merger

California plays host to the third major of the golfing year as a strong field takes to the course at Los Angeles Country Club for the 2023 US Open this week.

It is the first time in 75 years that the US Open is being played in the city with LA Country Club hosting the event for the first time. A challenging layout is expected for the players with low scores unlikely as the Californian course looks to test the contenders across four demanding rounds.

Brooks Koepka is among the favourites to back up his victory in the US PGA Championship but will face stern competition from the likes of world no.1 Scottie Scheffler and Masters champion Jon Rahm. Rory McIlroy cannot be discounted while Matt Fitzpatrick will be hoping to produce his best golf as he bids to defend his US Open title.

The unexpected news of a merger between the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series and the PGA Tour only adds to the anticipation though it will be a while before the full ramifications of the merger are realised.

Follow all the action from the 123rd US Open:


Back-to-back birdies for Bennett

Smith -1 (16), Bennett -5 (16), Fitzpatrick +1 (16)

Sam Bennett continues his superb charge with a beautifully-judged approach into the 16th. It sets up a birdie look and he makes no mistake to convert a second successive birdie and move into a tie for fourth.

Fitzpatrick also picks up a much-needed birdie to move himself back to one over par.

Ben Fleming16 June 2023 02:10


McIlroy -5 (14), Koepka +1 (14), Matsuyama +3 (14)

More trouble off the tee for McIlroy and Koepka. The pair have to lay up and it’s two poor approaches with wedge. Both have about 50 feet to get down for their pars but they are able to do so.

The tough closing holes coming up for this trio – you’d suspect a few more pars coming in would go down a treat for all involved.

Ben Fleming16 June 2023 02:08


Back-to-back birdies for Johnson

He’s not going under the radar now! A delightful wedge into the sixth drops just over two feet from the hole and he taps in to move into a tie for third and two shots off the lead.

Ben Fleming16 June 2023 01:59


Bennett on the move

Smith -1 (15), Bennett -4 (15), Fitzpatrick +2 (15)

This is only Sam Bennett’s third major championship but he looks right at home in the biggest competitions. Another great shot, this time into the par-three 15th, sets up his fifth birdie of the day. He’s into seventh on four under.

Smith remains at one under while Fitzpatrick has dropped back again to two over par after his bogey on the hole prior.

Ben Fleming16 June 2023 01:57


Clark finds another birdie

It’s been an up-and-down second nine from Wyndham Clark but he manages to find another birdie after a superb approach into the long par-four 16th. He moves into solo third again and two shots off the lead.

Ben Fleming16 June 2023 01:50


Another par for Rory

McIlroy -5 (13), Koepka +1 (13), Matsuyama +3 (13)

Rory is in a small spot of trouble for the first time off the tee but he muscles on out and onto the green in regulation. It’s a testing putt down the slope but nicely done by Rory who taps in for his par. Koepka does well to save his par with a good putt while Matsuyama drops another shot to fall to three over.

Ben Fleming16 June 2023 01:49


Johnson on the charge

The front nine looks decidedly more gettable than the back and Dustin Johnson is finding that out first-hand. He played the back nine first but he drains his third birdie in his last five holes on the front and he’s now level with McIlroy on five under.

Ben Fleming16 June 2023 01:46


Back-to-back bogeys for Mickelson

It does feel like the birdies may have dried up a little bit out there. Mickelson is certainly one of those and he’s in trouble again after his tee shot. The American hacks out of the rough but he can’t save his par on the 16th and drops back to one under.

Ben Fleming16 June 2023 01:42


Harman drops back

Harman takes a three wood off the fairway into the long par-four 13th but it ends up in the rough and from there, it’s a tough ask. He’s unable to save par and he drops back to five under with McIlroy and Clark.

Ben Fleming16 June 2023 01:36


Bogey for Smith

Smith -1 (13), Bennett -3 (13), Fitzpatrick +1 (13)

Ahead of McIlroy and Koepka, Smith gets himself in some trouble off the tee and can’t save his par. He drops back to one under par. Sam Bennett and Matt Fitzpatrick both do well to save their respective pars with good medium-range putts, however.

Ben Fleming16 June 2023 01:31


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