The chief executive of the USGA has given a boost to LIV Golf players as he revealed what he believes is "the real shame" about the impact of the breakaway tour.
Mike Whan recently joined Bloomberg's Business of Sport podcast to discuss a number of topics.
Those included how COVID-19 led to an unexpected boom in the game, the impact of the breakaway tour and future U.S. Opens.
He was also asked about the U.S. Department of Justice's investigation into the PGA Tour over alleged anticompetitive behaviour.
Reporting from the Wall Street Journal suggested that investigation has expanded and also brought the USGA and Augusta National under the spotlight.
Whan, 49, said he was happy to let his actions "as it relates to what we do or don't do speak for themselves".
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He also echoed the sentiments previously expressed by R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers on the topic of LIV.
Slumbers handed LIV players a lifeline by suggesting it would go against the nature of the Open to ban players.
Whan said he couldn't imagine telling a U.S. Open champion they had earned an exemption only to tell them it "doesn't exist anymore".
Asked whether the DOJ investigation was justified, Whan told the podcast:
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Whan then touched upon the billions of dollars that is being pumped into the game from the Saudi-backed LIV.
Whan said "the real shame" about the disruption in the game and the controversy over how it is funded is that we are not talking about "the greatest boom" in women, children and people of colour playing the game.
Whan then gave a boost to LIV players with regards to future U.S. Opens.
It now appears that the governing bodies of the major championships are aligning to allow LIV players' future participation.
In December Augusta National confirmed as many as LIV 16 players - including Phil Mickelson - would be welcome to play the 87th Masters.
Next page: Nine players who changed their mind about LIV