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LIV players given permission to play at Masters

LIV players given permission to play at Masters
© Reuters
LIV players will be able to participate in the 2023 Masters after being provided with permission from the tournament's organisers.

Chairman Fred Ridley has announced that LIV players will be able to participate in the 2023 Masters.

Since the breakaway tour came to fruition earlier his year, the sport has been left split with the PGA Tour moving to suspend and ban any LIV players from playing on their own tour.

While the DP World Tour would like to take a similar stance, they must currently allow LIV players to feature in their events until the conclusion of a legal case early next year.

However, the majors are stand-alone tournaments run by different organisations, who each reserve the right to enforce their own rules regarding entry requirements.

Phil Mickelson celebrates winning the Masters in 2006© Reuters

As it stands, no alterations have been made, and that is the approach that the Masters has chosen to take with regard to invitations for the next edition of the event at Augusta in April.

At a time when invitations are due to be sent out to its invited players, Ridley has acknowledged that they wish to uphold tradition and make no changes to eligibility rules.

A statement read: "Through the years, legends of the game have competed and won at Augusta National Golf Club. 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 honour the tradition of bringing together a pre-eminent field of golfers this coming April.

"Therefore, as invitations are sent this week, we will invite those eligible under our current criteria to compete in the 2023 Masters Tournament. As we have said in the past, we look at every aspect of the Tournament each year, and any modifications or changes to invitation criteria for future Tournaments will be announced in April.

Cameron Smith hold the Claret Jug after winning The Open on July 17, 2022© Reuters

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

As many as 16 LIV players are in line to feature in the field, including past champions Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson and Charl Schwartzel.

Cameron Smith, Bryson Dechambeau and Brooks Koepka - who have all won majors in the past five years - are also free to take part in the first major of next year.

As a result of ending 2022 in the top 50 of the World Golf Rankings, Talor Gooch, Kevin Na, Joaquin Niemann, Jason Kokrak, Louis Oosthuizen, Harold Varner III and Abraham Ancer are in line to compete.

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The 4Aces team celebrate winning the final 2022 LIV Golf event on October 30, 2022.
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