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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Masters Tournament to Let LIV Golfers Play in 2023

  • Augusta National Golf Club issues decision.
  • LIV members Phil Mickelson and other Masters winners can tee it up in April.
Phil Mickleson watching shot
Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Just when things were looking bleak business-wise for LIV Golf, the golf league scored a significant victory when Augusta National Golf Club announced Tuesday that LIV players will be allowed to play in the 2023 Masters tournament.

The decision will enable former Masters champions like Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and Patrick Reed to try for another green jacket at the year’s first major championship.  

“We will invite those eligible under our current criteria to compete in the 2023 Masters Tournament,” wrote Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley. 

“Regrettably, recent actions have divided men’s professional golf by diminishing the virtues of the game and the meaningful legacies of those who built it. Although we are disappointed in these developments, our focus is to honor the tradition of bringing together a preeminent field of golfers this coming April.”

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The threat of being banned from golf’s four majors – The Masters, U.S. Open, PGA Championship, and British Open – is the most significant factor deterring players from defecting to LIV. 

The four organizing bodies that stage the majors have their own criteria. However, Augusta National’s decision will likely be studied closely by other governing bodies, such as the USGA.

Other Masters champs who’ve jumped to LIV include Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia, and Charl Schwartzel. All told, 16 LIV golfers are expected to be exempted into the 2023 Masters, according to Golfweek.

The 2023 Masters Tournament is scheduled for April 6-9, with coverage on ESPN and CBS Sports.

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