Yesterday, Talor Gooch went full Talor Gooch, an expression that has come to connote delusional commentary more than excellent on-course play. When the members of Smash GC were asked their plans for U.S. Open and Open Championship qualifying, Gooch stated plainly that he will not be attempting to qualify. Shortly after that video surfaced, the USGA announced that Tiger Woods had accepted a special exemption into the 2024 U.S. Open, an invitation Talor Gooch presumably believes he also deserved.

From LIV Golf’s inception, most public discourse has centered around the power struggle between LIV and the PGA Tour, with each organization competing to attract the most talented golfers in the world. “Is ____  going to LIV?” arises any time a high-profile PGA Tour player withdraws from a tournament or publicly softens his stance on LIV. Often lost within that conversation is the power struggle between LIV and golf’s other governing bodies.

You don’t need a tinfoil hat to surmise that the organizations behind the four major championships, each of whom are represented on the Official World Golf Ranking board, perceive LIV as a threat while viewing the PGA Tour as more of a partner. In 2022, Majed Al Sorour, CEO of the Saudi Golf Federation, suggested LIV could build its own majors for LIV golfers if the existing major championships don’t cooperate with LIV. From the perspective of golf’s governing bodies, those are fighting words.

You can plausibly believe that LIV was denied OWGR points strictly due to their lack of adherence to OWGR standards and criteria. At the same time, you can also believe that the OWGR board was disinclined to cooperate with LIV because LIV’s success threatens the status quo and thus the wallets of those who occupy the OWGR board. Phil Mickelson clearly believes the latter. Back in October, Phil tweeted that if LIV received OWGR points, more players would sign with LIV. Then, LIV would have more leverage to negotiate with the four majors and earn a higher revenue share than they currently earn. Therefore, golf’s governing bodies collude to box out LIV and prop up the PGA Tour, an organization that historically hasn’t taken much initiative to rock the boat steered by the major championships. Phil’s position is a reasonable one.

Is the lack of a special invitation to the U.S. Open for Gooch evidence of the USGA blackballing LIV Golf for the sake of its own profits? I doubt that many people, at least outside the Gooch household, could assert that with a straight face. Frankly, Gooch’s on-course results don’t demand a spot in golf’s most prestigious tournaments nor is he one of the most decorated golfers of all time. His last LIV win came almost a year ago, and in eleven career major starts he’s never finished in the top 10. However, Gooch’s disgust and frustration yesterday do reflect his attitude towards the so-called golf “establishment”, an attitude shared by Phil Mickelson, Greg Norman, and undoubtedly others within the LIV Golf organization.

As the future of men’s professional golf gets sorted out, negotiated, and potentially reimagined, this hostility between LIV and golf’s governing bodies is a significant piece of the equation.

This piece originally appeared in the Fried Egg Golf newsletter. Subscribe for free and receive golf news and insight every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.