22 Jun 2022

LIV Golf Rebels Allowed To Play In British Open!

Players who have signed up for the Saudi-sponsored LIV Golf series will be allowed to compete in the 150th British Open next month, R&A organizers announced on Wednesday. The US PGA Tour barred those involved in the rebel building after the first event in Britain earlier this month but the organizers of last week's US Open match did not follow through. That stop will be followed by the final tournament of the year, which starts in St Andrews in Scotland on July 14.

"Open is an early golf tournament and since its inception in 1860, openness has been a cornerstone of its ethics and unique appeal," said R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers.

“Players who have been released or have secured a place in the 150th Open in accordance with the terms and conditions of entry will be able to compete in St Andrews.

"We are focused on hosting a world-class tournament in July and celebrating this historic golf event."

Four-time champion Brooks Koepka is the latest big-name player to revolt in the LIV Golf cycle, along with Abraham Ancer of Mexico, number 20 in the world.

Koepka, 32, is expected to make his first appearance in a fundraising round at his first American event in Oregon next week. Koepka's management team did not respond immediately when contacted by AFP on Tuesday.

The American actor, who has removed the "PGA Tour" from Twitter, will be followed by a host of stars including Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson who has won titles six times by joining LIV.

The series, funded by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, has put the golf world in jeopardy since its inception.

LIV Golf has been widely criticized by human rights groups, who say the series is an attempt to boost the monarchy's reputation for sport.

The PGA Tour has welcomed the intolerance of the series, with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan appointing 17 former or current tourists to make a change after the opening ceremony near London.

He made it clear that other registered golfers would face the same fate.

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Reports on Tuesday said the PGA Tour was planning to restructure its program with a series of highly profitable new tournaments - a clear indication of the strategy to combat the rise of LIV Golf.

Monahan reportedly outlined the proposed changes to the system at a full players' meeting ahead of this week's Traveller Championship in Connecticut.

The plans unveiled by Monahan include raising funds for at least $ 20 million for the existing eight tent competitions and the launch of three new $ 25 million non-cutting competitions with limited venues. Schedule rescheduling is likely to be in place by the 2023 season.

LIV Golf has been attracting star names to sign with the first circuit which offers $ 25 million in prize money for each of its 54 pitfalls.

Other changes suggested by Monahan on Tuesday include a return to the annual calendar program from January to December.

The current season of "wrapping" begins in the fall of North America and is not popular with some players who complain that it does not allow for a clearly defined foreign season.

Speaking at the Travelers Championship on Tuesday, defending champion Harris English said he hoped the proposed renewal of the PGA Tour could entice players to continue with the circuit.

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Patrick Cantlay described the PGA-LIV conflict as a battle to attract and retain talent.

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