LIV Golf players suspended by the PGA Tour, but what is their status for the majors? What we know

The PGA Tour has announced that it is suspend membership privileges for golfers who join the LIV Golf Invitational Series. However, this decision in itself has no impact on the four major tournaments in men’s golf as they are all managed by separate entities.

The USGA, for example, allowed Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and others will be allowed to participate in the US Open at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Here’s a look at what the USGA, R&A, PGA of America and The Masters have publicly said (or haven’t said) about LIV Golf players attending their events:

Dustin Johnson won the Masters in 2020.

Opinion: The PGA Tour is right to suspend golfers Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and LIV

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USGA (US Open)

The US Open started a week after the first LIV Golf event outside of London. While several top players have announced their intention to compete on the Saudi-backed circuit, the United States Golf Association has remained silent.

June 7, the USGA has finally made its position public:

“We pride ourselves on being the most open championship in the world and players who have earned the right to participate in this year’s championship, both by exemption and qualification, will have the opportunity to do so.”

“Our field criteria were set before registration opened earlier this year and it is not appropriate, or fair to competitors, to alter the criteria once established.”

USGA General Manager Mike Whan later hinted that the exemption process may change in future years.

R&A (British Open)

With the US Open on the books, attention turns to the last major of the 2022 calendar year, the 150th British Open in St. Andrews, Scotland.

Martin Slumbers, Managing Director of R&A, confirmed that LIV Golf defectors will have their exemptions honored at the 150th Open Championship which will be contested at the Old Course in St. Andrews from July 14-17.

“The Open is golf’s original championship and since it was first played in 1860, the Open has been fundamental to its philosophy and unique appeal,” Slumbers said in a press release.

However, the R&A decided in December not to award a place at the Open to the winner of the Asian Tour Order of Merit. The move came just months after LIV Group announced a multi-million dollar investment in the Asian Tour.

PGA of America (PGA Championship)

To participate in the PGA Championship, golfers must be part of a recognized tour. At this year’s tournament at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma last month Seth Waugh, CEO of the PGA of America wondered if the LIV configuration was qualified.

“We think the structure of – I don’t know if it’s a league, it’s not a league at this point – but the structure of the league is somewhat flawed,” he said.

The 2023 PGA Championship will be played May 18-21 at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York.

The PGA of America, which oversees the selection of the US Ryder Cup team, has suggested that players who are no longer members of the PGA Tour would not be eligible for future Ryder Cup teams.

Augusta National Golf Club (Masters)

Masters have the most control over which players can participate as the field is filled by invitation only.

Augusta National also has a special reverence for its past champions, which would include LIV participants Phil Mickelson (2004, 2006, 2010), Charl Schwartzel (2011), Sergio Garcia (2017) and Dustin Johnson (2021).

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: LIV Golf membership can impact British Open, PGA and Masters courses

Michael C. Ford