Masters, Open Championship exemptions for LIV players? Seems doubtful

fred ridley

Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley.

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The leaders of the Masters and Open Championship don’t appear to be significantly changing their qualification criteria just yet — or at least not in a way that would benefit LIV Golf members.

Fred Ridley, the chairman of Augusta National, and Martin Slumbers, the chief executive of the R&A, which runs the Open Championship, spoke to the media on Thursday at the Asia Pacific Amateur Championship at Royal Melbourne in Australia and said at this time no major changes are coming to their qualification guidelines.

This comes in the wake of the OWGR board denying LIV Golf World Ranking points and comments from players — specifically Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson — on how LIV players should be included in majors.

On Sunday, The Telegraph also reported that LIV Golf was in talks with the R&A about guaranteed Open spots. Slumbers called that notion “off the mark” and said the R&A doesn’t publicly discuss exemptions.

“We are 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,” Slumbers said, according to the NCA NewsWire. “Our conditions are designed in a way to create pathways for the very best players in the world to compete. The Open is intended to be open to everybody, that you earn your place in the field and through exemptions and that won’t change.”

A couple of weeks ago, before the LIV tournament in Saudi Arabia, DeChambeau said it was important to find another avenue into majors for LIV players.

“We have some of the best players in the world,” he said. “Top 12 on the list, the Money List [winner] at the end of the year or the points list at the end of the year would be [in], I think. Obvious for the major championships to host the best players in the world at those four events each year.”

The Masters has tweaked its qualification criteria in the past, although Ridley said he doesn’t anticipate big changes coming in 2024.

Last season, 18 LIV players were in the Masters, with 16 in the Open Championship. Although without World Ranking points available, those numbers will continue to drop.

“We don‘t make changes every year, but we do look at them under the current circumstances,” Ridley said. “Last year, there was some speculation as to whether or not we would invite [LIV] golfers. Then we stayed true to our qualification criteria. We invited everyone who was eligible.

“So while we do not at this time anticipate making a change in 2024, we do always look at them, and we will continue to do that,” he continued. “Our qualifications are very much dynamic, and we adjust to what we feel is in the best interest of the tournament representing the best players in the world.”

Josh Berhow Editor

As’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at