A newspaper report reveals LIV Golf is speaking to The R&A about gaining exemptions into The Open
Could LIV Golf players receive guaranteed spots at next year’s Open at Royal Troon?
The Telegraph has reported the Saudi-backed breakaway league is in talks with The R&A for exemptions into the world’s oldest major.
The R&A have declined to comment, but the Telegraph’s James Corrigan writes that LIV have asked for 12 places.
At Royal Liverpool in the summer, The R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers did not rule out the prospect of one day partnering with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, the body which bankrolls the controversial tour.
Asked whether he would accept PIF if they wanted to become a partner, he explained: “If I’m very open, we are and do and continue to, talk to various potential sponsors.”
He added: “We have a number of large corporate partners that help us make this thing happen. I think the world has changed in the last year. It’s not just golf.
“You’re seeing it in football. You’re seeing it in F1. You’re seeing it in cricket. I’m sure tennis won’t be that far behind.
“The world of sport has changed dramatically in the last 12 months, and it is not feasible for The R&A or golf to just ignore what is a societal change on a global basis. We will be considering within all the parameters that we look at all the options that we have.”
LIV Golf Open ‘talks’: ‘I think we have some of the best players in the world’
LIV boss Yasir Al-Rumayyan also played alongside Slumbers at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship earlier this month.
A dozen places for LIV Golf players is the number Bryson DeChambeau quoted when calling for the major championships to make their qualifying criteria more accessible following the Official World Golf Rankings’ decision to deny LIV Golf eligible tour status.
But The Telegraph reports four would be a more achievable number.
“I think at this point in time now that they’re not allowing it, we would love to find another way to be integrated into the major championship system since I think we have some of the best players in the world,” DeChambeau said.
“Top 12 on the list, the money list, at the end of the year or the points list at the end of the year, would be I think obvious for the major championships to host the best players in the world at those four events each year.”
Next year only five LIV Golf players – Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Cameron Smith, Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka will play in all four 2024 majors thanks to exemptions from previous victories.
Henrik Stenson is also eligible to play in The Open, while Patrick Reed and Sergio Garcia have lifetime spots at The Masters.
Now have you say
What do you think of this LIV Golf Open news? Should The Open change its qualifying criteria to give LIV Golf players exemptions? Or should they have to qualify through Final Qualifying? Let me know by leaving a comment on X.
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