Phil Mickelson, Louis Oosthuizen, and exempt golfers like Dustin Johnson may relax about competing in the British Open next month. The 150th British Open will be held at The Old Course in St. Andrews, and Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, has assured that defectors to LIV Golf will have their exemptions recognised. According to a press release from Slumbers, “The Open is golf’s original tournament and openness has been crucial to its spirit and distinctive appeal since it was first played in 1860. The Championship at St. Andrews will be open to players who are exempt from competition or who have secured a spot through qualifying for The 150th Open in accordance with the admission criteria and conditions. Our attention is on
Slumbers and the R&A followed the lead of USGA chief executive Mike Whan in permitting LIV players to compete this year. During the USGA’s pre-U.S. Open press conference last week, Whan hinted that the exemption process could change in future years. Access to the majors and how LIV players will be able to earn World Ranking points to qualify for the four majors is considered a roadblock in LIV Golf’s expansion.
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.”
So far, only the PGA of America has suggested that players that no longer have PGA Tour membership would be ineligible for the U.S. Ryder Cup team.The 150th Open will be played at St. Andrews, July 10-17. The leading two players who finish in the top eight and ties at the Kolon Korea Open who are not already exempt will earn places into the British Open field. The Kolon Korea Open is the eighth event in the British Open Qualifying Series and will be played at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club in Cheonan, June 23-26.
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