LIV Golfers Get The Green Light For The Open
With the R&A confirming that The Open won't be banning any LIV golfers at Royal Liverpool this year and the PGA also following suit, we now have all four majors who won't be changing their qualifying criteria to exclude any breakaway golfers.
The Open have maintained their stance along the way with their chief Martin Slumbers explaining at St Andrews last July that The Open will be there for everyone.
“Let me be very clear. That’s (banning LIV players) not on our agenda,” Slumbers explained.
In October the chief executive would go on to say that all would be revealed at the start of 2023.
"We’re not banning anyone. We are not going to betray 150 years of history and have the Open not be open. The name says it all. And that’s important. What we will do is ensure that there are appropriate pathways and ways to qualify," Slumbers told Golf Digest.
"I’m looking forward to seeing Cam Smith tee up around 9:40am on the first day of the Open. The Open needs to set itself aside from what’s going in terms of disagreements and make sure we stay true to our principle, which is to have the best players in the world competing."
All of which means that past winners Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Louis Oosthuizen and reigning champion Cameron Smith are all safe along with Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau who both finished inside the top 10 at the Old Course.
Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed both won majors in 2018 which guarantees their place at Hoylake while Thomas Pieters and Richard Bland will tee it up courtesy of their top-30 finish on the Race to Dubai. Elsewhere Joaquin Niemann and Talor Gooch also make it through via the 2022 FedEx Cup standings.
“We have created an exciting schedule of events which takes in many regions around the world and provides the chance for golfers to earn a place in the Open at Royal Liverpool,” said Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, the R&A’s executive director of champions. “We are grateful to our colleagues at the professional tours for their support and look forward to seeing who emerges from each event to book a sought-after place in the Championship this year.”
There was bad news for two LIV players, Mito Pereira and Sebastian Munoz, will have to find another route in to Liverpool. They both played on the Presidents Cup last year but the Ryder and Presidents Cup exemptions, any player who played on the most recent teams, has now been removed.
Burnham & Berrow, Dundonald Links, Royal Cinque Ports and West Lancashire will host Final Qualifying on July 4, ahead of The 151st Open from July 20-23.