August 7, 2022

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Na resigns from PGA Tour; to play LIV Golf collection

8:47 AM ET ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — R&A chief government Martin Slumbers stated there’s “no...

8:47 AM ET

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — R&A chief government Martin Slumbers stated there’s “no such factor as a free lunch” in golf and that he believes LIV Golf is “harming the notion of the game.”

Slumbers, talking Wednesday forward of the 150th Open Championship on the Previous Course at St. Andrews, supplied the sharpest criticism of LIV Golf but by the pinnacle of a governing physique.

“I firmly consider that the present golf ecosystem has efficiently offered steady pathways for golfers to enter the game and develop and understand their full potential,” Slumbers stated. “Skilled golfers are entitled to decide on the place they wish to play and to simply accept the prize cash that is supplied to them. I’ve completely no concern with that in any respect. However there isn’t a such factor as a free lunch.”

There are 24 LIV Golf gamers competing in The Open, together with former main champions Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen. A few of them had been lured to the brand new breakaway circuit, which is being financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding Fund, by signing bonuses reportedly price greater than $100 million and $25 million purses for every occasion.

The PGA Tour suspended greater than 20 golfers who competed within the first two LIV occasions at Centurion Membership exterior London and Pumpkin Ridge exterior Portland, Oregon. The DP World Tour additionally fined and suspended its gamers from competing in three of its occasions which might be co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour.

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“I consider the mannequin we have seen at Centurion and Pumpkin Ridge shouldn’t be in one of the best long-term pursuits of the game as a complete and is solely pushed by cash,” Slumbers stated. “We consider it undermines the merit-based tradition and the spirit of open competitors that makes golf so particular.

“I might additionally prefer to say that for my part, the continued commentary that that is about rising the sport is simply not credible and, if something, is harming the notion of our sport which we’re working so laborious to enhance.”

Slumbers stated LIV gamers had been allowed to compete in The Open this 12 months as a result of they’d already met qualifying standards or had been awarded exemptions. He stated the R&A would reassess the qualifying requirements earlier than the 2023 Open at Royal Liverpool in England.

“I by no means stated one of the best golfers won’t be able to play,” Slumbers stated. “We’ll maintain completely true to The Open being open to anyone. However we could effectively take a look at the way you get into that, whether or not it is an exemption or a must qualify by means of our qualifying course of.”

Regardless of his harsh criticism, Slumbers insisted the R&A wasn’t planning to ban LIV gamers from competing.

“Looking forward to The Open subsequent 12 months, we now have been requested fairly ceaselessly about banning gamers,” Slumbers stated. “Let me be very clear: That is not on our agenda. However what’s on our agenda is that we are going to evaluation our exemptions and {qualifications} standards for The Open. And while we do this yearly, we completely reserve the correct to make modifications as our Open Championships Committee deems acceptable.”

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Slumbers additionally defended the R&A’s resolution to not invite LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, a two-time winner of The Open, to St. Andrews for the 150th celebration. Slumbers famous that Norman hadn’t been to St. Andrews since 2010 and hadn’t attended The Open in a few years.

Norman referred to as the R&A’s resolution “petty” in an interview this week with Australian Golf Digest.

“We’re completely decided to make sure that this goes down in historical past as about The 150th Open,” Slumbers stated. “We determined that there could be, primarily based on noise that I used to be receiving from a number of sources, that that was going to be probably unlikely.

“We determined that we did not need the distraction. We needed to make sure that the dialog was all about this week and taking part in golf and balls within the air [on Thursday] and the champion golfer on Sunday.”