Golfers which have performed within the LIV Golf sequence will likely be allowed to compete on the Masters subsequent yr, organizers of the celebrated main mentioned on Tuesday.
Fred Ridley – the chairman of the Augusta Nationwide Golf Membership, which levels the Masters – mentioned In an announcement that “these eligible below our present standards” would this week obtain invitations to play the 87th version of the most important in April.
Plenty of gamers to have competed on the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf sequence are listed for invite, together with three-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson, world No. 3 and 2022 Open champion Cameron Smith, and four-time main champion Brooks Koepka.
The eligibility of LIV Golf gamers for majors has been one level of rivalry in an ongoing rift within the sport, with taking part golfers banned from the PGA Tour and no world rating factors supplied for LIV Golf occasions.
Earlier this yr, LIV Golf joined an antitrust lawsuit alongside a few of its gamers to problem their suspensions by the PGA Tour. The PGA Tour filed a countersuit in late September.
Final month, Tiger Woods referred to as for Greg Norman, CEO of the LIV Golf sequence, to face down.
“Regrettably, current actions have divided males’s skilled golf by diminishing the virtues of the sport and the significant legacies of those that constructed it,” Ridley mentioned.
“Though we’re dissatisfied in these developments, our focus is to honor the custom of bringing collectively a preeminent subject of golfers this coming April.
“We’ve got reached a seminal level within the historical past of our sport. At Augusta Nationwide, we’ve got religion that golf, which has overcome many challenges by the years, will endure once more.”
Ridley hinted that different modifications to the event “invitation standards” may come sooner or later.
“As we’ve got mentioned previously, we take a look at each facet of the Event annually,” he mentioned.
“Any modifications or modifications to invitation standards for future Tournaments will likely be introduced in April.”
Woods and Rory McIlroy, who has equally been outspoken in his criticism of the LIV Golf sequence, are each on the invite record.
In August, McIlroy condemned the sequence for having “ripped aside” males’s skilled golf.
Earlier Masters champions Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson and Charl Schwartzel are among the many different gamers to have performed LIV Golf occasions to be invited, in addition to 2020 US Open champion Bryson Dechambeau and world No. 30 Abraham Ancer from Mexico.
The LIV Golf sequence is backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding Fund (PIF) – a sovereign wealth fund chaired by Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and the person who a US intelligence report named as accountable for approving the operation that led to the 2018 homicide of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Bin Salman has denied involvement in Khashoggi’s homicide.
The 2023 Masters event runs from April 6 to April 9.