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Talor Gooch has won back-to-back titles in the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf League. However, he’s currently ranked 60th in the Official World Golf Ranking.

What does that mean?

Gooch is on the cutline of being eligible for the 2023 U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club. The top 60 in the OWGR as of May 22 and June 12 are exempt into the tournament.

Despite his place in the ranking system, Gooch thought he was already exempt after qualifying for the 2022 Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta. He did not play in the event due to his move to LIV.

Thanks to a recent rule change from the USGA, that achievement no longer gets him in the field.

“The USGA annually reviews its exemption criteria for all championships, and we did for the 2023 US Open,” a USGA spokesperson wrote in an email to Golfweek. “Importantly, we provided more clarity to a specific exemption category to reflect that players must be both qualified and eligible for the Tour Championship, beginning with the 2023 U.S. Open. The change was not made retroactively, but rather as a part of our annual review process and included within several other changes made to the criteria for the upcoming 2023 championship.”

Gooch, for obvious reasons, isn’t too thrilled.

“That was obviously disappointing because that changed rule only affected one person, which was me,” Gooch said on the “73rd Hole” podcast. “So that was frustrating and tough because with LIV still not being rewarded with World Ranking points, I have only two options to qualify for the U.S. Open: via my World Ranking, which is going to be very challenging, or trying to obviously go through the qualifying route of sectional qualifying.”

Phil Mickelson has come to Gooch’s aid on Twitter, calling out Mike Whan, the USGA’s CEO, over the exemption change.

Yep. He qualified 9 months ago via Tour championship. 3 months ago Whan changed the wording on the qualifying criteria to take it away. Total d!*k move by Whan. He leads our governing body. Sad

— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) May 5, 2023

Hey cowboy,
The USGA is not the pga tour. His pga tour suspension has nothing to do with the USGA. The rule clearly stated he qualified via tour championship. He did not have to play. Whan changed the rule 6 months after the fact to exclude him. Like I said, a d!*k move.

— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) May 5, 2023

Mickelson needs a win at the U.S. Open to complete the career grand slam. He is exempt into the field next month thanks to his win at the 2021 PGA Championship.