British Open allows golfers from Saudi-backed series to play
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) — Players who have joined the new Saudi Arabia-funded league will still be allowed to compete at the British Open next month, organizers said on Wednesday.
The U.S. Open had allowed players who were banned by the PGA Tour for signing up to the LIV Golf series to play at last week’s tournament.
“Players who are exempt or have earned a place through qualifying for the 150th Open in accordance with the entry terms and conditions will be able to compete in the Championship at St. Andrews,” R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said in a statement.
The world’s oldest major championship begins on July 14.
“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.
Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson headlined LIV Golf’s inaugural tournament held this month outside London and won by former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, who collected $4.75 million. The league is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
Mickelson, a six-time major champion who has become the face of the LIV league, missed the cut at The Country Club last week. He won the British Open in 2013.