The PGA Tour has announced that it’s suspending membership privileges for golfers who join the LIV Golf Invitational Series. However, that decision by itself has no impact on the four major tournaments in men’s golf because they’re all run by separate entities.
The USGA, for example, allowed Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and others will be allowed to compete in the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Here’s a look at what the USGA, R&A, PGA of America and the Masters have publicly said (or not said) about LIV Golf players taking part in their events:
USGA (U.S. Open)
The U.S. Open began one week after the inaugural LIV Golf event outside London. As several prominent players announced their intentions to compete in the Saudi-backed circuit, the United States Golf Association remained silent.
On June 7, the USGA finally made its position public:
“We pride ourselves in being the most open championship in the world and the players who have earned the right to compete in this year’s championship, both via exemption and qualifying, will have the opportunity to do so.”
“Our field criteria were set prior to entries opening earlier this year and it’s not appropriate, nor fair to competitors, to change criteria once established.”
USGA chief executive Mike Whan later hinted that the exemption process could change in future years.
R&A (British Open)
With the U.S. Open in the books, the focus turns to the final major of the 2022 calendar year, the 150th British Open at St. Andrews, Scotland.
Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, confirmed that defectors to LIV Golf will have their exemptions honored at the 150th Open Championship to be contested at The Old Course at St. Andrews from July 14-17.
“The Open is golf’s original championship and since it was first played in 1860, openness has been fundamental to its ethos and unique appeal,” Slumbers said in a media release.
However, the R&A did decide in December not to grant a spot in the Open to the winner of the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit. That move came just a few months after the LIV group announced a multimillion dollar investment in the Asian Tour.
PGA of America (PGA Championship)
To compete in the PGA Championship, golfers must be part of a recognized tour. At this year’s tournament at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh questioned whether the LIV setup qualified.
“We think the structure of – I don’t know if it’s a league, it’s not a league at this point – but the league structure is somewhat flawed,” he said.
The 2023 PGA Championship will be played May 18-21 at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York.
PGA of America, which oversees the selection of the U.S. Ryder Cup squad, has suggested that players that no longer have PGA Tour membership would be ineligible for future Ryder Cup teams.
Augusta National Golf Club (Masters)
The Masters has the most control over which players can participate because the field is filled by invitation only.
Augusta National also has a special reverence for its former champions, which would include LIV participants Phil Mickelson (2004, 2006, 2010), Charl Schwartzel (2011), Sergio Garcia (2017) and Dustin Johnson (2021).
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: LIV Golf membership may impact fields at British Open, PGA, Masters