Players who have joined breakaway LIV Golf series can play at The Open

Organisers the R&A make announcement ahead of the 150th championship at St Andrews next month

Charl Schwartzel of South Africa celebrates with the trophy after winning the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series  event at the Centurion Golf Club, St Albans, UK, on June 11, 2022. EPA
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Players who have joined the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf Invitational series will be able to compete at The Open next month, organisers the R&A said on Wednesday.

The US PGA Tour banned those involved in the breakaway series after its inaugural event at the Centurion Club, near London, earlier this month.

But the organisers of last week's US Open did not follow suit and allowed players who have joined LIV Golf to compete at Brookline. Now the R&A have taken a similar stance for the year's final major.

“The Open is golf's original championship and since it was first played in 1860, openness has been fundamental to its ethos and unique appeal,” said R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers, with the 150th championship set to begin on July 14 at St Andrews in Scotland.

“Players who are exempt or have earned a place through qualifying for the 150th Open in accordance with the entry terms and conditions will be able to compete in the championship at St Andrews.

“We are focused on staging a world-class championship in July and celebrating this truly historic occasion for golf.”

Several top players including six-time major winner Phil Mickelson, former US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau and former world No 1 Dustin Johnson have joined LIV Golf, which is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka is the latest player to switch to the breakaway series, along with Mexican world No 20 Abraham Ancer.

Koepka, 32, is expected to make his debut at the series' first event in the US in Oregon next week.

Other big names who have joined LIV golf include Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Patrick Reed and Louis Oosthuizen.

Matt Fitzpatrick wins US Open - in pictures

South African Charl Schwartzel won the inaugural event at Centurion Club, St Albans, picking up a winner's cheque for $4 million. US Open winner Matt Fitzpatrick pocketed prize money of $3.15 million for winning the year's third major.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan suspended 17 players who had joined the breakaway series after the first event at St Albans. He said other golfers who signed up would also be banned from future events.

LIV Golf, which offers $25m in prize money for each of its 54-hole tournaments, has continued to lure players from the established tours.

Reports on Tuesday said the PGA Tour was planning to revamp its schedule with a series of lucrative new tournaments -- the clearest indicator yet of a strategy to combat the rise of LIV Golf.

Monahan is understood to have explained proposed changes to the schedule at a packed meeting of players before this week's travellers Championship in Connecticut.

Plans outlined by Monahan include boosting purses to at least $20m in eight existing marquee tournaments and the introduction of three new $25m tournaments that would feature no cuts and limited fields. The schedule overhaul could be in place by the 2023 season.

Updated: June 22, 2022, 12:55 PM
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