‘Openness Has Been Fundamental’: R&A Explains Why LIV Golf Defectors Will Be Allowed at 150th Open

Published 06/23/2022, 7:00 AM EDT
Jun 14, 2022; Brookline, Massachusetts, USA; Phil Mickelson smiles from the ninth tee during a practice round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at The Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The 150th Open Championship is just four weeks away from its commencement at St. Andrews. The R&A recently announced that it will not restrict any players from participating in the championship. It was about the existing ban on golfers who have joined the LIV Golf Series.

All players who are exempt or have qualified earlier for the event will be allowed to play in the Open Championship 2022. Even if these players have played at the inaugural LIV event in London, or are about to play in Portland next week, they’ll be able to play in the Open Championship. The championship also allows players who are suspended from the PGA Tour to participate in it.

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LIV Golf players are allowed to play in the Open Championship – R&A CEO

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

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The statement further said, “Players who are exempt or have earned a place through qualifying for The 150th Open in accordance with the entry terms and conditions will be able to compete in the Championship at St Andrew’s.”

Golf – The inaugural LIV Golf Invitational – Centurion Club, Hemel Hempstead, St Albans, Britain – June 9, 2022 Team 4 Aces’ Dustin Johnson of the U.S. with team Hy Flyers Phil Mickelson of the U.S. on the 1st during the first round Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

The championship is focused on hosting a global-level event in July, irrespective of any biases toward any players. The decision taken for the Open Championship is similar to that of last week’s U.S. Open. The U.S. Open also allowed all previously qualified players to be a part of the event.

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Which LIV Tour players are playing in the Open Championship?

The pronounced players who will be able to play in the Open Championship solely due to this decision are Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, and Ian Poulter. Phil Mickelson won the Open Championship in the year 2013, while Johnson finished in the top 10 in the 2021 Open. The other three players are exempt and have played the 2021 Ryder Cup.

Jun 13, 2022; Brookline, Massachusetts, USA; Phil Mickelson addresses the media during a press conference before rounds of the U.S. Open golf tournament at The Country Club. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The PGA Tour has suspended memberships of all players who are a part of the LIV Golf Series. However, it is uncertain if the Open Championship and the U.S. Open are going to be the only ones to allow these players to play. 

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Joydeep Singh

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