LIV Golf Organisers Declare Open and Masters Events Will Not Feature Exemptions

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In a recent development, the organisers of the prestigious Masters and Open Championship have confirmed that they do not intend to introduce any exemptions for LIV Golf players in 2024. This decision follows the rejection of LIV Golf's bid for recognition by the sport's global rankings body earlier this month, prompting calls for a separate exemption category by prominent golfers Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau to ensure LIV's players can qualify for these prestigious events. However, the R&A chief executive, Martin Slumbers, has unequivocally denied any ongoing discussions in this regard.

Addressing recent rumours and reports suggesting that talks were underway, Slumbers dismissed them as "off the mark," asserting that exemptions for the Open have never been subject to discussion with anyone. He emphasised the Open's fundamental principle of being open to all golfers who earn their place in the field through exemptions, a principle that remains unwavering.

Fred Ridley, the chairman of Augusta National, echoed a similar sentiment regarding the Masters. He mentioned that while the criteria for the Masters are unlikely to change for 2024, the qualification criteria have been adapted numerous times in the tournament's history. Ridley underlined the commitment to maintaining dynamic qualifications, ensuring the tournament showcases the world's top players. He emphasised the Masters' tradition of adhering to its qualification criteria and the consideration for potential changes in the future.



It's important to note the distinction between the Masters and the Open: the former is an invitational tournament, while the latter relies on world ranking points and qualifying events to determine its participants.

The impact of the refusal to award ranking points for LIV tour events was discussed by former Open champion Cameron Smith, who suggested that golf's world rankings were becoming "almost obsolete." This challenge highlights the need for a fair and comprehensive system that accounts for all players, regardless of their affiliation with specific tours.

While notable figures like Mickelson, DeChambeau, and Cameron Smith currently enjoy exemptions for the majors due to their recent tournament victories, it's worth noting that even seasoned champions like 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia had to compete in a qualifying tournament this year due to his LIV golfer status and ultimately missed the Open for the first time in 25 years. This situation raises questions about the balance between tradition and inclusivity in golf's most prestigious events.
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