Friday, February 3, 2023

Furious at LIV Golf Defections, British Open up Could Transform Entry Procedures

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — The British Open’s organizer pointedly warned on Wednesday that it could modify its entry guidelines for long run tournaments — probably complicating the Claret Jug potential clients of players who defected to the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golfing series.

Although the R&A, which runs the Open up, has not manufactured a selection about how players will be equipped to be a part of the 156-person subject in 2023 and over and above, the organization’s main government, Martin Slumbers, left open up the risk that the pathway to a single of golf’s most hallowed tournaments could shortly shift.

“We will critique our exemptions and skills standards for the Open,” Slumbers reported at a news meeting at St. Andrews on the eve of the Open’s start off on the Previous Training course. “We unquestionably reserve the suitable to make changes” from past yrs, he added.

“Players have to generate their spot in the Open, and that is fundamental to its ethos and its distinctive international charm,” mentioned Slumbers, who did tiny to disguise his disdain for the LIV collection, which he condemned as “entirely driven by money” and threatening to “the benefit-centered society and the spirit of open up level of competition that can make golf so unique.”

Still, he signaled that a wholesale ban of players was “not on our agenda.”

Slumbers denied that the R&A was coordinating with the organizers of golf’s other big tournaments to possibly exclude LIV players, whose ranks consist of Brooks Koepka, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed. But the main executive of the United States Golf Association, which controls the U.S. Open up, claimed in June that the group would “re-evaluate” the criteria it employs to set that tournament’s subject.

The P.G.A. of The usa, which is in cost of the PGA Championship, has also signaled its contempt for the LIV collection, which has offered millions of bucks in guaranteed money to players to join 54-gap, no-minimize tournaments with shotgun starts. Augusta Countrywide Golfing Club, which organizes the invitation-only Masters Tournament, has so much remained silent about its intentions.

Like other tournaments, the R&A publishes a prolonged roster of techniques for players to qualify for the Open up, which will be held following year at Royal Liverpool. This yr, for example, the options integrated a position in the top 50 of the Formal World Golfing Position on a certain date.

The team that oversees the Official World Golf Position process reported Tuesday that LIV Golfing, which attracts significantly of its funding from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, experienced requested this thirty day period for “inclusion” and that it was starting to review the application.

British Open up organizers have attempted mightily this 7 days to direct notice toward the 150th event. But the turmoil surrounding LIV has consistently intruded. About the weekend, the R&A acknowledged that it had not invited Greg Norman, the LIV chief executive who received the Open two times, to this year’s festivities at St. Andrews.

And on Tuesday, Tiger Woods used a information conference to denounce LIV.

“What these players are undertaking for assured revenue, what is the incentive to exercise?” Woods questioned. “What is the incentive to go out there and get paid it in the grime? You’re just receiving paid a ton of income up entrance and playing a few activities and enjoying 54 holes.”

The players who moved from the PGA Tour, which has appear less than Justice Section scrutiny for its attempts to manage its roster of golfers, to LIV Golf, experienced “turned their back again on what has allowed them to get to this place,” Woods mentioned.

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