Greg Norman's army of major winning defectors have been given a huge boost ahead of golf's four biggest competitions

Augusta National have officially made a decision on whether LIV golfers will be allowed to play at the Masters next years, and it’s good news for Greg Norman’s army of major winning defectors.

As confirmed in a statement by chairman Fred Ridley on Twitter, all players who meet Augusta’s previous qualification requirements will be invited to compete in the 2023 edition of the Masters.

The decision means that 16 players currently signed with LIV Golf will be part of the field in April, including the likes of Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed and Sergio Garcia.

The statement read the following:

Augusta National statement in full

“From its inception in 1934, the purpose of the Masters Tournament has been to benefit the game of golf. Each April, the Masters assembles the world’s leading golfers to compete for the Green Jacket and a place in history. It provides a stage for fans to experience dramatic moments of competition at the highest level and promotes the sport domestically and abroad.

Through the years, legends of the game have competed and won at Augusta National Golf Club. Champions like Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have become heroes to golfers of all ages.

They have inspired some to follow in their footsteps and so many others to play and enjoy the game. They have supported the sport and, thus, all who benefit from it. They have shown respect for those who came before them and blazed a trail for future generations. Golf is better because of them.

Regrettably, recent actions have divided men’s professional golf by diminishing the virtues of the game and the meaningful legacies of those who built it. Although we are disappointed in these developments, our focus is to honor the tradition of bringing together a preeminent field of golfers this coming April.

Therefore, as invitations are sent this week, we will invite those eligible under our current criteria to compete in the 2023 Masters Tournament. As we have said in the past, we look at every aspect of the Tournament each year, and any modifications or changes to invitation criteria for future Tournaments will be announced in April.

We have reached a seminal point in the history of our sport. At Augusta National, we have faith that golf, which has overcome many challenges through the years, will endure again.”

George Cooper

A golf fanatic his entire life, George Cooper is NCG's man for all goings-on at the top level of the game, whether it's the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA or LIV Golf. He also looks after NCG's Twitter and Facebook accounts. George is a member of Woburn, but is not friends with Ian Poulter.

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