fbpx
LIV Golf Open

“Completely off the mark”: R&A chief dismisses reports over LIV Golf Open talks

Martin Slumbers moved to quash speculation the governing body was discussing exemptions with the Saudi-backed breakaway tour

 

R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers has dismissed speculation the governing body is in talks with LIV Golf over exemptions into The Open as “completely off the mark”.

Speaking at a Founding Partners press conference for the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at Royal Melbourne, Slumbers said he wanted to make it “very clear” that on “exemptions for The Open – we do not discuss them with anyone, nor would we at any point in time”.

Earlier this week it was reported that the Saudi-breakaway league was in talks with the governing body to get guaranteed places into the world’s oldest major.

Those reports claimed LIV had asked for 12 spots.

But asked, along with Masters Tournament chairman Fred Ridley, whether they could entertain a scenario where there was a category for LIV Golfers to play in the Masters and The Open, Slumbers said: “We’re in the process of reviewing our exemptions and conditions of entry for The Open Championship for next year – as we always do.

“We will publish those in early 2024. I’ve stated a number of times, our conditions are designed in a way to create pathways for the very best players in the world to compete at The Open Championship – next year at Royal Troon.

“I would say, though, that there has been some speculation in the media recently on the topic you’re raising and I would say it is completely off the mark.

“I would like to make it very clear that exemptions for The Open – we do not discuss them with anyone and nor would we at any point in time.

“It’s very important we don’t lose sight of the fact that The Open is intended to be open to everybody, but you earn your place in the field, through exemptions, and that won’t change.”

LIV Golf Open debate: ‘There are plenty of opportunities…to qualify’

LIV Golf Open

Ridley added that, at this time, the Masters did not “anticipate making any changes” next year.

“If you look back over the history of the Masters Tournament, and the qualifications that have existed, we have changed those qualifications numerous times – dozens of times,” he said.

“We look at those every year – we don’t make changes every year, but we do look at them under the current circumstances.

“As you’ll recall last year, there was some speculation as to whether or not we would invite LIV golfers and we stay true to our qualification criteria and we invited everyone who was eligible.

“And so while we do not, at this time, anticipate making any changes in 2024 we do always look at them and will continue to do that.

“I would just answer by saying our qualifications are very much dynamic and we adjust to what we feel is in the best interest of the tournament and representing the best players in the world. We will always look at that.”

Asked if it would be unfortunate whether LIV golfers, such as Talor Gooch, slipped out of being able to play in the tournament, Ridley continued: “They made decisions based on what they thought was in the best interest of their golf careers and we certainly respect that.

“We do have, and our invitation criteria does say, that we reserve the right to issue special exemptions to international players – although we did issue a special exemption to an amateur, the NCAA champion, last year.

“We’re always looking at that but these decisions have been made and we’ll have to do what’s in the best interest of the Masters and we’ll continue to do that.”

Slumbers continued: “Without getting into detail, we make sure there are plenty of opportunities for any player in the world, who thinks they’re good enough, to have a chance to qualify and play in the Open Championship – irrespective of which tour they are participating on – and that will not change.”

Now have your say

What do you think of this LIV Golf Open debate? Should LIV Golf players have an exempted route into The Open and the Masters? Or should they accept the consequences of moving to a tour not deemed eligible by the Official World Golf Rankings? Let me know via X.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

Latest Posts

liv golf andalucia payout

LIV Golf

LIV Golf Andalucia payout 2024

By

Read full article about LIV Golf Andalucia payout 2024
LIV Golf Andalucia

LIV Golf

Where is LIV Golf Andalucia?

By

Read full article about Where is LIV Golf Andalucia?
LIV Golf

LIV Golf

Show me the money! How much has each LIV player made since signing up?

By

Read full article about Show me the money! How much has each LIV player made since signing up?
sam horsfield liv

LIV Golf

Exclusive with Sam Horsfield: I chose LIV Golf before knowing Ian Poulter did too

By

Read full article about Exclusive with Sam Horsfield: I chose LIV Golf before knowing Ian Poulter did too
tiger woods bar st andrews

News

Tiger Woods beats huge backlash to open St Andrews bar with world-famous artist

By

Read full article about Tiger Woods beats huge backlash to open St Andrews bar with world-famous artist
LIV Golf

LIV Golf

How far have the LIV golfers fallen in the world rankings?

By

Read full article about How far have the LIV golfers fallen in the world rankings?
chambers bay us

LIV Golf

I would watch every second of a LIV Golf event at Chambers Bay

By

Read full article about I would watch every second of a LIV Golf event at Chambers Bay
liv golf schedule 2024

LIV Golf

LIV Golf schedule 2024: Every date, venue and result

By

Read full article about LIV Golf schedule 2024: Every date, venue and result
Asian Tour 2024 schedule

LIV Golf

Asian Tour 2024 schedule and results

By

Read full article about Asian Tour 2024 schedule and results