Louis Oosthuizen among LIV Golf members allowed to play in The Open

Louis Oosthuizen will be able to play at the The Open despite being a LIV Golf member. Photo: Amanda Sagba/EPA

Louis Oosthuizen will be able to play at the The Open despite being a LIV Golf member. Photo: Amanda Sagba/EPA

Published Feb 22, 2023


Cape Town - Qualifying LIV Golf members will be allowed to compete in the 151st edition of The Open this summer at Royal Liverpool, the R&A announced on Tuesday.

Some of the more notable LIV golfers exempt into the July 20-23 tournament include past Open champions Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson of Sweden, Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa and reigning winner Cameron Smith of Australia.

Also available to participate are Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau -- who finished in the top at 10 at St. Andrews last year -- as well as former major winners Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed, among others.

"We have created an exciting schedule of events which takes in many regions around the world and provides the chance for golfers to earn a place in the Open at Royal Liverpool," said Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, executive director of champions at the R&A.

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"We are grateful to our colleagues at the professional tours for their support and look forward to seeing who emerges from each event to book a sought-after place in the Championship this year."

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Tuesday's news is on par with what R&A chief Martin Slumbers said in July. He said that banning LIV players was "not on our agenda."

He doubled down on that message in October.

"We'll go public in January/February with what we are going to do with regard to LIV golfers," Slumbers told Golf Digest. "But if you want a guide, go back to what I said in July. We're not banning anyone. We are not going to betray 150 years of history and have the Open not be open. The name says it all. And that's important. What we will do is ensure that there are appropriate pathways and ways to qualify.

"I'm looking forward to seeing Cam Smith tee-up around 9:40 a.m. on the first day of the Open next year. The Open needs to set itself aside from what's going in terms of disagreements and make sure we stay true to our principle, which is to have the best players in the world competing."