LIV Golf isn’t giving up on finding a way to get their players in major championships.
LIV was denied OWGR points earlier this month. That decision is going to make it very difficult for most of the players on LIV to gain entrance into the four majors. But they immediately pivoted in trying to secure a way into The Open Championship.
The Saudi-backed tour is in talks with the R&A about letting more LIV Golf players into the annual event, per The Telegraph.
The R&A (Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews) is one of the governing bodies of golf around the world. They have the ability to alter the pre-requisites for the world’s most famous tournament.
Without access to points, LIV members continue to fall down the world rankings.
The four majors use the OWGR (Official World Golf Rankings) as a way to fill their fields. In 2024, the rival tour is set to have fewer players than in its first two years.
Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Cameron Smith, Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson are the only LIV members able to play in the four biggest events in 2024 due to their recent major victories.
But players like Talor Gooch, who has won three times this year, currently does not qualify for any of them.
Is the R&A the only governing body that LIV Golf has established dialogue with, or have they contacted the Augusta National team? The USGA? There have been no reports that LIV Golf has.
LIV chairman and governor of the Saudi Public Investment Fund, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, met with R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers at this past Open Championship and then played with him in the Dunhill Links tournament.
It’s important to note that Slumbers is on the OWGR board and was part of the unanimous vote that denied LIV points.
LIV Golf chief operating officer Gary Davidson told The Telegraph he’s convinced an agreement is close, referencing previous discussions about direct exemptions for LIV players.
“Maybe the top 12 would make sense,” Davidson said. “It is something that would be beneficial for us, but I think it also is something that’s probably required for the majors to make sure they retain their strength when the OWGR cannot do that.”
Negotiations between the PGA Tour and PIF are ongoing but the deal will likely be delayed into 2024. This news throws another hitch in the already rocky landscape of professional golf.
Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.