R&A will allow LIV golf players to participate in the 150th Open

The R&A has announced that any player exempted for the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews next month “will be able to compete”, meaning members of the controversial LIV Golf Invitational Series will not be banned from playing in golf’s oldest championship . .

As expected, the decision mirrors one made by the USGA ahead of last week’s US Open, with R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers issuing a brief statement confirming the news.

“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,” Slumbers said.

“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.

“We are focused on delivering a world-class championship in July and celebrating this truly historic occasion for golf. We will invest the proceeds from The Open, as we always do, for the benefit of golf, this which reflects our goal of ensuring the sport is thriving 50 years from now.”

The dissident Saudi-backed circuit continues to grab headlines amid accusations it is being used to clean up Saudi Arabia’s human rights record. However, that hasn’t stopped big names from signing up.

The inaugural LIV Golf Invitational at the Centurion Club in Hemel Hempstead featured Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Lee Westwood, and the roster was further bolstered by the additions of Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

In response to the threat, the PGA Tour has pledged to suspend all current and future players from LIV Golf, announcing the news moments after the first shots were struck at LIV Golf’s inaugural event.

Two former Open champions in the form of Mickelson and Louis Oosthuizen have jumped ship for the new series led by Greg Norman, while a number of other LIV stars are also exempt for the final men’s Major of 2022. .

Michael C. Ford