Masters criteria allow LIV golfers to play in ’23

Masters criteria allow LIV golfers to play in ’23

The Masters announced Tuesday that any golfer who has qualified for the tournament based on its previous criteria will be invited to play in the 2023 tournament in April.

That means at least 16 players currently on the LIV Golf circuit will be part of the field at Augusta National, including six past champions.

Tournament chairman Fred Ridley made the announcement.

“We have reached a seminal point in the history of our sport,” Ridley said in his statement. “At Augusta National, we have faith that golf, which has overcome many challenges through the years, will endure again.”

Included in the field will be six past champs: Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed and Charl Schwartzel.

Cameron Smith qualifies for winning the 2022 Open Championship. Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka are invited due to winning the U.S. Open in the past five years. Joaquin Niemann was in the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings and qualifies after leaving the PGA Tour in September.

Talor Gooch, Harold Varner III, Jason Kokrak, Kevin Na, Abraham Ancer and Louis Oosthuizen are all in the top 50 in the current World Golf Rankings and should earn an invite. Also, any player in the top 50 in the World Golf Rankings on the week prior to the 2023 event would also earn an invitation.

“Through the years, legends of the game have competed and won at Augusta National Golf Club,” Ridley said in the statement. “Champions like Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have become heroes to golfers of all ages. They have inspired some to follow in their footsteps and so many others to play and enjoy the game. They have supported the sport and, thus, all who benefit from it. They have shown respect for those who came before them and blazed a trail for future generations. Golf is better because of them.

“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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