R&A Announces LIV Golf Players Will Be Allowed to Participate in the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews

Like the USGA before it, the R&A is uninterested in inserting itself into the fight between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, at least for now. The R&A announced this week that all qualified golfers for the 150th edition of its event will be allowed to play. That includes the likes of Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, and Phil Mickelson, all of whom signed up for the second LIV event next week in Oregon.

“The Open is golf’s original championship and since it was first played in 1860, the Open has been fundamental to its ethos and unique appeal,” said R&A CEO Martin Slumbers.

“Players who are exempted or who have earned a place by qualifying for the 150th Open in accordance with the entry requirements will be able to participate in the championship at St. Andrews”, He continued. “We are focused on delivering a world-class championship in July and celebrating this truly historic occasion for golf.”

This is not a surprising announcement. It’s more or less the same as the USGA said a few weeks before the US Open. This is not a statement about the future, but rather a decision about the present that only affects that particular Open Championship. Because this is the 150th Open, there was no way the R&A would invite the political drama that would have been hinted at with anything other than a statement like this.

It may also be a harbinger of the future. Major championship organizations are not rushing to the side of the PGA Tour to help it, from Eamon Lynch. And why would they? It’s not a fight they want to take on, nor is it one that was brought to them directly. The major organizations — Augusta National, USGA, PGA of America and R&A — seem to be waiting to see how everything unfolds on the LIV Golf-PGA Tour front before making any long-term decisions.

It’s wise too, given how quickly everything changes in the world of professional golf. No one – not the players, not the agents, not the organizations – knows how all of this will shake out in the weeks and months to come. After the Open in July, the majors are given a nine-month reprieve before having to make longer-term decisions.

The 150th Open will go ahead as planned with all the major players you expect. None of LIV Golf’s players played a role at the US Open, but Koepka, Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen – all LIV golfers – finished in the top 10 at the 149th Open Championship at Royal St. George’s the year last and all are 35 years old. 1 or less at this year’s tournament.

Michael C. Ford