The Open: R&A’s Martin Slumbers confirms banning LIV Golf players ‘not on agenda’ in future | Golf News

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Slumbers on the Saudi-backed circuit: “I believe the model we have seen is not in the best interest of the sport as a whole and is entirely driven by money” – Watch The Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports The Open

Last Updated: 13/07/22 3:52pm


R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers doesn't believe that LIV Golf is in the best long-term interests of the sport as a whole.

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R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers doesn’t believe that LIV Golf is in the best long-term interests of the sport as a whole.

R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers doesn’t believe that LIV Golf is in the best long-term interests of the sport as a whole.

R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers insists there is no intention of banning LIV Golf rebels from future editions of The Open, although refused to rule out a change to the entry criteria.

DP World Tour fined breakaway players £100,000 and banned them from three events, although players were able to compete in the Genesis Scottish Open following an appeal, while PGA Tour suspended members involved in the breakaway circuits,

The R&A joined the USGA last month in announcing that LIV Golf players would still be allowed to compete in this week’s event at St Andrews, although Slumbers admitted it could be more difficult for those golfers to qualify in the future.

Tiger Woods says he agrees with the R&A's decision to exclude Greg Norman from The 150th Open Celebrations event.

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Tiger Woods says he agrees with the R&A’s decision to exclude Greg Norman from The 150th Open Celebrations event.

Tiger Woods says he agrees with the R&A’s decision to exclude Greg Norman from The 150th Open Celebrations event.

“Looking ahead to The Open next year, we have been asked quite frequently about banning players. Let me be very clear, that’s not on our agenda,” Slumbers said in a pre-tournament press conference on Thursday. “But what is on our agenda is that we will review our exemptions and qualification criteria for the Open.

“Whilst we do that every year, we absolutely reserve the right to make changes as our Open Championships committee deems appropriate. Players have to earn their place in the Open and that is fundamental to its ethos and unique appeal.

The Open Live

July 14, 2022, 6:30am

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“I never said the best golfers would not be able to play. We will hold totally true to being open to anybody, but we will look at whether it is an exemption or through qualification.”

LIV Golf applied last week to be recognised by the Official World Golf Ranking, a process expected to last several months, with The Open currently having an exemption category for the world’s top 50

The lack of world rankings points on offer in the LIV Golf Invitational Series means players will find it harder to remain in an exemption category, with Slumbers critical of a circuit he describes as “driven by money”.

Jordan Spieth wanted to set the record straight stating he is not moving to LIV Golf after his agent responded to rumours.

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Jordan Spieth wanted to set the record straight stating he is not moving to LIV Golf after his agent responded to rumours.

Jordan Spieth wanted to set the record straight stating he is not moving to LIV Golf after his agent responded to rumours.

“Professional golfers are entitled to choose where they want to play and accept the prize money that is offered to them,” Slumbers added. “I have absolutely no issue with that at all. But there is no such thing as a free lunch.

“I believe the model we have seen is not in the best interest of the sport as a whole and is entirely driven by money, which we believe undermines the merit-based culture and the pursuit of open competition which makes golf so special.

Paul McGinley used Mo Salah and the Premier League to help explain how the LIV Golf Series is different from the structure and organisation of the PGA and DP World tours.

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Paul McGinley used Mo Salah and the Premier League to help explain how the LIV Golf Series is different from the structure and organisation of the PGA and DP World tours.

Paul McGinley used Mo Salah and the Premier League to help explain how the LIV Golf Series is different from the structure and organisation of the PGA and DP World tours.

“In my opinion the continued commentary that this is about growing the game is just not credible and, if anything, is damaging the perception of our sport which we are working so hard to improve.

“We believe the game needs to focus on increasing participation, achieving greater diversity and making sure golf is truly open to all rather than this narrow debate involving a small number of players.”

The Open Verdict

July 14, 2022, 8:30pm

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There are 24 LIV Golf players in the field this week for the final men’s major of the year, including 2010 champion Louis Oosthuizen and former world No 1 Dustin Johnson, although their CEO Greg Norman – a two-time Champion Golfer of the Year – was not invited to attend at St Andrews.

“This is a very important week for golf,” Slumbers explained. “We are absolutely determined to ensure that this goes down in history as (being) about The 150th Open.

The players have revealed what it would mean to them to win an Open Championship at the home of golf.

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The players have revealed what it would mean to them to win an Open Championship at the home of golf.

The players have revealed what it would mean to them to win an Open Championship at the home of golf.

“We decided that, based on noise that I was receiving from multiple sources, that was going to be potentially unlikely (if Norman attended). We decided that we didn’t want the distraction.

“Greg (Norman) hasn’t been here since 2010. He didn’t come in 2015. In fact, it’s many years since he’s even been to the Open. So there would have been another reason for that. So it was very clear to protect the integrity of this week.”

Watch The 150th Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports’ dedicated channel. Live coverage begins on Thursday from 6.30am live on Sky Sports The Open.



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