Because the Masters caved, LIV golfers Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson are among the six former winners who will get another shot at a green jacket in the 2023 tournament.
Per ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, the Masters announced any player who qualified for the tournament under its criteria for selection would not have their invitations revoked for the event despite leaving the PGA.
That list includes other former Masters winners Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, and Charl Schwartzel.
Schlabach detailed how players associated with Saudi Arabian-sponsored LIV Golf can be or already are among the 2023 field. Any player who won either the U.S. Open or PGA Championship within the past five years qualifies, which opened the door for Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka.
Players who previously qualified for the Tour Championship before leaving for LIV Golf are also eligible, as are any players ranked in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking. Schlabach also noted that “any player in the top 50 the week before the 2023 event would also earn an invitation.”
After the decision was announced, Augusta National Club chairman Fred Ridley said, “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.”
But he surely is well aware that only one group of players — the LIV golfers — have divided the sport.
“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,” said Ridley. (h/t ESPN)
LIV golfers rightly face heat for putting personal wealth ahead of the mountain of human rights violations carried out by Saudi Arabia. (h/t Amnesty.org UK)
Instead of banning LIV golfers, the Masters buckled.