LIV Golfers Will Continue To Miss Out On The Majors
THERE has been much speculation about a peace deal that would see the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf being able to co-exist together.
Well, that seems a long way off after organisers of both The Masters and The Open made it abundantly clear that they have no plans to create exemptions for LIV Golf players in 2024.
LIV Golf's attempt to be recognised by the sport's global rankings body has already been rejected - and that is the chief qualification criteria for qualification for the sport’s four main events.
Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau have both called for an exemption category to be created to ensure LIV's players do not miss out on qualification as a result but R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers has made it clear that no such discussions were under way.
Recent reports have suggested that talks had begun, but Slumbers dismissed that claim. He said:"I would like to make it very clear that exemptions for the Open, we do not discuss them with anyone and nor would we at any point in time.
"It's very important that you don't lose sight of the fact that the Open is intended to be open to everybody; that you earn your place in the field, through exemptions, and that won't change."
And Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said the criteria for The Masters is unlikely to be changed.
He said: "If you look back over the history of The Masters and the qualifications that existed, we have changed those qualifications numerous times.
"As you'll recall last year, there was some speculation as to whether or not we would invite LIV golfers. We stayed true to our qualification criteria. We invited everyone who was eligible.
"While we do not, at this time, anticipate making a change in 2024, we do always look at it and we will continue to do that.
"Our qualifications are dynamic, and we adjust to what we feel is in the best interest of a tournament representing the best players in the world. We'll always look at that.”
The Masters has a field that is limited to between 80 and 90 players. This year’s field consisted of 88 golfers.
These include the top 50 in their world rankings, former champions, major champions from the past 5 years, and a number of exemptions for amateurs. That being the case, there simply isn’t any room for LIV golfers who either haven’t won majors or lie outside the top 50 in the world rankings - as things stand, only Brooks Koepka and Cameron Smith remain in the top 50.
While The Masters is an invitational tournament, The Open's stricter entry policy is based on world ranking points and qualifying events. LIV golfers outside the top 50 in the world rankings will not be able to play in the US Open either, unless they can come through qualifying. And as they are no longer members of the US PGA that also rules them out of the US PGA Championship if they are outside the top 50.
Former Open champion Smith recently described golf’s world rankings as being obsolete because of the refusal to award ranking points for events on the breakaway LIV tour.
While Mickelson, DeChambeau and Smith are currently exempt for the majors following recent tournament victories, 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia failed to qualify for this year's Open.
Garcia missed the major for the first time in 25 years after he failed to come through qualifying, which he had to play because of his status as a LIV golfer.
So far from looking at the possibility of a peace deal, it seems that they are further apart than they have ever been.
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