LIV Golf’s second season may have recently concluded, but the organization and some of its players remain in the news.
Most notably, both Martin Slumbers, CEO of the R&A, and Fred Ridley, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, dismissed published reports suggesting the Open Championship and the Masters are considering adjusting their qualification criteria to create exemptions for LIV golfers to qualify for those major championships based on their performance in the 48-player league.
“As I've stated a number of times, our conditions are designed in a way to create pathways for the very best players in the world to compete for the Open Championship next year at Royal Troon,” Slumbers told reporters last week in Australia before the start of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, whose winner earns exemptions into the Open and the Masters.
“I would say, though, there has been some speculation in the media recently on the topic that you're raising, and I would say that it is completely off the mark. 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.
“I think it's very important that we don't lose sight of the fact that the Open is intended to be open to everybody, but you earn your place in the field and through exemptions, and that won't change.”
"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."
Martin Slumbers, CEO of the R&A
Ridley offered a similar response regarding the Masters.
“As you recall last year, there was some speculation as to whether or not we would invite LIV golfers, and we stayed true to our qualification criteria and we invited everyone who was eligible,” Ridley said. “And so, while we do not at this time anticipate making any changes in 2024, we do always look at them, and we will continue to do that.
“So, I would just answer by saying that our qualifications are very much dynamic and we adjust to what we feel is the best interests of the tournament representing the best players in the world, so we always look at that.”
The Masters is an invitational with its own qualifying criteria as well as special exemptions. The Open Championship provides spots through designated events on the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour as well as through 36-hole qualifying tournaments.
Three weeks ago, LIV Golf was denied world-ranking points by the Official World Golf Ranking, a key factor in Masters eligibility. Brooks Koepka (18th) and Cam Smith (19th) are the only LIV golfers inside the top 50 in the world ranking. Both, along with Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, are already eligible for all the 2024 majors as major champions in the last five years.
LIV Golf Promotions will be played December 8-10 at Abu Dhabi Golf Club in the United Arab Emirates, offering the top three finishers spots in LIV Golf for the 2024 season.
The 72-hole competition, with a $1.5 million purse, will feature a unique format. After the first 18 holes, the field will be cut to the low 20 scores and ties. For the second day, a group of pre-qualified players will join the competition where the field will again be cut to the low 20 scores after play.
The final day will feature a 36-hole shootout among the 20 players, with the top three earning spots on LIV Golf for next year. Those three players will be joined by Andy Ogletree, who earned a fourth available spot through his play on LIV’s International Series this year. READ MORE
Lawrence J. Burian was named LIV Golf’s chief operating officer. Burian had been an executive with the Madison Square Garden network of businesses, which includes New York sports franchises in the NBA (Knicks) and NHL (Rangers) plus entertainment and media properties. He fills a position at LIV that had been open since Atul Khosla resigned in December after less than one year on the job. READ MORE
Ron Green Jr.