Jul 11, 2022; St. Andrews, Fife, SCT; The Japanese flag flies at half staff atop the list green grandstand during the Celebration of Champions at the 150th Open Championship golf tournament at St. Andrews Old Course. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

One of golf’s most prestigious events is set to kick off on Thursday with the British Open, and the major topic surrounding the event has been the 23 LIV Golf players who are in the field.

LIV has been the talking point of the sport for months now so this should come as no surprise, but it is certainly interesting to see how players are being treated at The Open Championship.

The R&A, who runs the prestigious golf event, gave their public opinion of LIV Golf on Thursday, with R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers saying that the model of LIV Golf is “not in the best interest of the sport.”

Their stance is pretty clear, and it appears that this is clearly affecting how they are handling LIV Golf players at The Open.

Notable LIV Golf players such as Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, and Dustin Johnson all did not receive a press conference ahead of the event.

On top of that, the grouping for tee times is something that has raised eyebrows around the golf world.

While top PGA Tour golfers have been grouped together for the event in many cases such as the Colin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy, and Xander Schauffele pairing on Thursday, Phil Mickelson did not get a pairing of star-studded players to play with.

Mickelson will instead be playing alongside Lucas Herbert and Kurt Kitayama, the latter of whom only just qualified for The Open with his performance at the Genesis Scottish Open last week.

Fellow LIV golfer Kevin Na was reportedly shocked when hearing about Mickelson’s pairing considering all that he has done for the sport of golf over the years.

While Herbert and Kitayama are good players, many would expect Mickelson to be featured at this event with a notable pairing if it weren’t for the LIV controversy surrounding him.

Another LIV Golf player discussed the treatment that they have gotten at the British Open under anonymity to Golf Digest and did not mince words with how he felt on the matter.

“The way they’ve acted this week,” he said. “It just shows how threatened they all are.”

Whether it is right or not, it is clear that LIV Golf players are getting a bit of the cold shoulder from the R&A, and it will be interesting to see if this will affect their play throughout the duration of the event.

[Golf Digest]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.