The decision will be seen as a major victory for the Saudi-sponsored series as the PGA Tour has punished players for jumping to the rebel circuit.
LIV Golf has lured some of the top players on the US-based PGA Tour with huge sums of money, sparking a feud within the sport.
“Unfortunately, recent actions have divided men’s professional golf, diminishing the virtues of the game and the significant legacies of those who built it. While we are disappointed by these developments,” said the president of Augusta National Golf Club. Fred Ridley in a statement
Statement by President Fred Ridley on the 2023 Masters Tournament. Read more ➡️ https://t.co/VlktfYOZUc
— The Masters (@TheMasters) 1671548401000
“Our focus is to honor the tradition of bringing together a major field of golfers this coming April.
“We have reached an important point in the history of our sport, at Augusta National, where we believe that golf, which has overcome many challenges over the years, will once again endure.”
Under current criteria, LIV’s top names, including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson, Patrick Reed and Charl Schwartzel, will play April 6-9 at Augusta National to qualify for the first major of the year as past Masters champions. . lifetime exemption.
British Open champion Cameron Smith, former US Open and PGA champion Brooks Koepka and former US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau will also receive invitations with the winners of the other three majors earning a five-year Masters exemption.
The Masters criteria also includes the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) at the end of 2022, which currently includes LIV defectors Abraham Ancer, Talor Gooch, Harold Varner III, Jason Kokrak, Kevin Na and Louis Oosthuizen.
Ridley lamented the divisions within the sport at the moment and did not rule out changing the club’s classification criteria in the future.
The British Open has indicated that LIV golfers who meet qualifying standards will be welcome while the US Open and PGA Championship have yet to confirm their entry criteria.
“As we’ve said in the past, we review all aspects of the Championship every year, and any changes or changes to the invitation criteria for future tournaments will be announced in April,” Ridley said.