The R&A has announced whether LIV Golf players will be allowed to play at St Andrews – and there's some exciting news for the lucky hopefuls at the other end of golf's ladder
There was no specific reference of the LIV Golf Invitational players, but those who have joined the breakaway series will be allowed to play in the 150th Open at St Andrews.
A statement from R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers read: “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.
“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 Andrews.
“We are focused on staging a world class championship in July and celebrating this truly historic occasion for golf. We will invest the proceeds of The Open, as we always do, for the benefit of golf which reflects our purpose to ensure that the sport is thriving 50 years from now.”
This stance mirrors that of the USGA’s for the US Open, and will see any player already qualified or exempt – including LIV golfers – given the opportunity to compete in the final major of the year. This includes the likes of 2013 Open champion Phil Mickelson, as well as Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, and Bryson DeChambeau.
The decision comes as little surprise, as despite the ongoing drama regarding LIV Golf, and speculation about its players’ futures at the majors, the R&A were never going to be the forerunners in making such a drastic decision – especially ahead of such a milestone occasion.
The governing body also provided a huge boost to the lucky hopefuls still bidding for a place at St Andrews.
The number of places available for the July showpiece at Final Qualifying has been upped from 12 to 16, meaning that four more golfers will now be able to achieve their dream of playing at golf’s oldest major later this summer.
“We already know that there is a strong motivation among golfers to secure a place in the field for the 150th Open at St Andrews,” the governing body’s executive director Johnnie Cole-Hamilton said.
“We have flexibility to increase the number of places available at Final Qualifying and have determined that we can offer four at each event this year.”