Earlier this month, the Official World Golf Ranking denied LIV Golf’s bid for ranking points. Since then, LIV golfers like Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson have spoke openly about how the top golfers on LIV deserve world ranking points, and even going as far to say the majors should create special exemptions for LIV golfers.
However, don’t expect the Masters to change anything for 2024.
On Thursday, Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley and R&A CEO Martin Slumbers spoke with members of the media Thursday at Royal Melbourne in Australia at the 2023 Asia-Pacific Amateur, a tournament where the winner receives an exemption to the Masters and Open Championship.
Ridley said the criteria isn’t changing for the 2024 Masters.
“If you look back over the history of the Masters Tournament and the qualifications that existed, we have changed those qualifications numerous times, dozens of times,” Ridley said. “We look at those every year. We don’t make changes every year, but we do look at them under the current circumstances.
“As you recall last year, there was some speculation as to whether or not we would invite LIV golfers, and we stayed true to our qualification criteria and we invited everyone who was eligible. Our qualifications are very much dynamic and we adjust to what we feel is the best interests of the tournament representing the best players in the world, so we always look at that.”
The three changes for the Masters in 2024 were inviting the NCAA individual champion, winners of FedEx Cup point-awarding fall events and a tweak to the wording of the Tour Championship qualification.
The Masters normally invites the top 50 in the OWGR as well as past champions, PGA Tour winners and high finishers from other major championships.
Meanwhile, Slumbers said the R&A is reviewing its qualification criteria, which will be released early next year. However, Slumbers said recent conversations about exemption categories have been completely off the mark.
“I think it’s very important that we don’t lose sight of the fact that The Open is intended to be open to everybody, but you earn your place in the field and through exemptions and that won’t change,” Slumbers said.
There was a follow-up question specifically naming Talor Gooch, who won the LIV individual championship and made more than $35 million this year. However, he is not eligible for any majors in 2024 and sits outside the top 200 in the OWGR.
“(LIV golfers) made decisions…