BOLTON, Mass. — Roughly 11 weeks ago in the Boston suburbs, men’s professional golf welcomed the game’s best players to the 122nd U.S. Open. Five days before that event began, the inaugural LIV Golf tournament in England was ending; it was largely treated as an anomalous curiosity.
When Phil Mickelson, the well-compensated headliner of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour, played his first holes at the U.S. Open, he was greeted politely, but the gallery also loudly snickered when one fan yelled: “Sellout!” At the conclusion of the championship, many in the tradition-bound golf community found amusement in noting the dreadful play of the small gaggle of LIV-aligned golfers, most especially Mickelson, who missed the cut with a score of 11 over par.
On Friday, another Boston suburb will host the fourth LIV Golf tournament. But no one is laughing at the upstart circuit anymore.