Augusta National soften posture against the LIV golfers for this coming Masters Tournament

In the News a few days ago and several of us had the chance of discussing this change. we were paying attention to this because the Masters is one of the annual tournaments we watch faithfully.

During the discussion, we come up with several points which might be the reason for this change of hearts.

For one, no one could or should stop those who seeks free money if their commitment to the regular tour could be kept with their new venture. This will be interesting to see, because the LIV is supposed to release their new schedule and format for 2023. Should the LIV schedule in conflict with the PGA Tour schedule, then these LIV golfers will have a more difficult time to fulfill commitment to both sides and will be forced to make a decision of which side of the fence to fall-in. Riding the fence will no longer be an option at that time.
Secondly, by locking out these golfers, it will also hurt the regular Tour. Plus, if they have the qualification to enter the tournament, no legal system could deny their right, except for the Masters Tournament which is a a private invitation only event.
It’ll be like keeping the door open for the rebellious teenagers who had left home. Just in case they decided to come home in the future.
Let’s not forget the golf fans are the key element of keeping everything afloat here. As long as the majority of the fans support the current infrastructure, no one could afford to continue throwing money in the fire.

I took a quick google, and didn’t find any announcements from the Masters regarding LIV golfers, I don’t know that the recent announcement amounts to a real softening of their official posture. All along I’ve expected them to keep their invitation criteria unchanged, it may keep them out of lawsuits. Even so, the “problem” will die out fairly quickly over the next few years. Even when (I say when, not if) the LIV tour gets World Ranking points, they’ll be relatively limited, based on 54 holes, no cuts, small fields, and less than stellar field strength. LIV players will see their rankings drop, so that those without exemptions from past performance will soon be on the outside looking in. I expect the USGA and R&A to do the same, let the guys who aren’t exempt go through normal qualifying, the PGA of America as well.

I would think that will be a fair decision. Those with the LIV might need to get an okay from their master to even try to qualify for the Masters or PGA events. Of course for those who did not participate in the 2022 PGA events would not have a chance to qualify. So essentially, the past champions would make up the majority of the LIV golfer returning to the Augusta National in 2023.
Surprised you did not find anything while search for the Augusta National’s decision it was all over the internet.

Sorry Norman, you’re not invited since you had never won a Master. I’m surprised the Board of the directors of the Augusta National would change their original decision to ban all LIV golfers from attending the 2023 event. Past champions certainly had won their right to be there. I would be curious as whether the LIV golfers will be met with an open arm welcome or cold shoulders from their peer.

I know about this one, what I didn’t find was this:

I don’t remember that original decision. Do you have a reference for it?

It was towards the beginning of the fiasco, I will try to look for it. Remembering the Masters was disinvite the past champions and qualified golfers.
Think there was a threat to suit the Augusta National ( Masters) from the qualified LIV golfers.
Things are a little bit different here than over the other side of the pond. Norman was a two times Open champion who got disinvited to this years Open ceremony.
I guess the legal system might have been a bit different, and we certainly have more attorneys available to participate in such squabble.

First off the Masters Tournament, although recognized as a Golf Major and a sanctioned event by the 2 main Tours, is still a Private Event. Augusta National has its own TV contract, merch etc. They can do as they please. I’m quite certain, they have had alot of internal meetings and discussions regarding the Camel Tour. They came to a decision that if you are qualified under the current criteria you will be invited. So the Cam’s, Brooks, Bryson etc have all qualified by being prior major winners within the last 5 years. It will be interesting to see if Brooks can play in the PGA because he also has a lifetime exemption there. Dustin, Phil, Patrick all have won and have a lifetime invite to Augusta. They are also member emeritus of Augusta with playing privileges there for he rest of their lives unless the Membership decides to revoke that. Moving forward, unless the players meet the annual criteria, they will not be able to play in the event. I don’t like the decision but it wasn’t mine to make and I will watch the tournament. I think the mutineers chased the money, which is fine by the way, but the PGA Tour Players Assoc, do not recognize them as they are no longer members. Just remember the Masters is a Private event, like the Players, if you qualify for either of the Opens and you make the cut, it is what it is. I don’t believe the PGA will be able to let non-members play in that event…like I said lets see how they handle Phil and Brooks.

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The PGA Championship is run by the PGA of America, NOT the PGA Tour. I anticipate that their decision will be similar to the Masters, to enforce their existing entry requirements, including exemptions for specific past Major champions. The Players, on the other hand, is run by the PGA Tour, I’d anticipate that the LIV players will not be allowed into the Players.

Well said.
This is also the main difference between the regular Tours and the new LIV tour. One side has the rules of qualifying without discrimination, the other side has hidden clause in the contract giving the controlling party total authority over who will be on the roster.
As my group’s discussion concluded, legal issue aside, it will be healthier to have those who qualify to participate under the current regulated stipulation. We don’t bar our children coming home for Holidays even if they had left on bad terms.
You know the saying, a fat dog could not keep up with the hunting party, Those who had their bank account fattened by the lore cast from the LIV probably will not be competing well without much of the motivation.
The world ranking had been abandoned by those who had went to LIV circuit. The only reason why they want the ranking back is probably , still related to money. Most the endorsement contract will have a minimum ranking required for the contract. In itself could mean multiple millions over the years and as a condition to extend the current contract.
Like we said, no one could tell them what to do with their decision, but, they can hug their money bag and forget about the world ranking and the regular tour. It’ll be a long way back if they are still motivated.
Doors are not shut, just lost of privilege and the respect for being an opportunist without the honor.

Right but I think you have to be a member of the PGA either as a pro or a tour player. Most tour players are not pros. That leaves a lot of guys in no man’s land.

Although I stand by the rules of no mercy for the traitors who stab you in the back; I do believe we need to keep the doors open for those who wish to turn back ( by abandoning part of their signed up bonus from the LIV offering ).
Just not with open arms. They need to climb the ladders if their current exemption is expired.
Giving a sucker a second chance? Only if they intend to redeem themselves and to benefit all.
I just can not believe the lore of financial reward is so huge with the members in a game which upholds the tradition, rules and the honors as the back bone of its existence.

PGA Tour players are typically not members of the PGA of America, the Tour and the PGA of America are completely separate organizations. And not every member of the PGA of America works as a golf pro, some manage clubs, some are sales reps, lots of different occupations. Still, the PGA Championship (run by the PGA of America) uses PGA Tour wins and money standings as qualifying factors. You can read the full list of potential ways to qualify here:

As I said, I anticipate that the PGA Championship will retain their current qualifying standards, so that some (but not many) LIV players will be included.

It is the way it supposed to be. Entry by qualification, not by membership.
This will open the door for some of the amateur and regional golfers. I wish all the tournament sponsors will see this possibility, and open 25% the field of participation to those who otherwise would not be granted an opportunity.

Dave, as a former PGA member, (I managed 3 different clubs and was an asst pro at 2 of them) I qualified in 1984 passing the PAT, by the skin of my chin with a 153, needed 154, while working the range, putting away carts, you know, the grunt work. Family got in the way, and I gave up the class work and applied in 86 for reinstatement as an amateur and received it. I kept managing clubs all the way through 2000. Anyways, Yes they are 2 completely separate organizations, but Tour Players are recognized by the club pro organization and can be invited to play in club pro events and vice versa. For example, The Bay Hill club pro might tee it up at that event on a special exemption. That said, my thought process is even though Phil or Brooks won the PGA Championship and are automatically invited back to play, they have renounced their PGA Tour affiliation. I think that would not bode well. I guess we’ll cross that bridge in May

Amateur Golfers are not allowed, nor are they invited to qualify for or welcome to play in the PGA Championship in May. Flat out NO Way Jose!

As I read it, they are invited to the PGA Championship as past champions, regardless of their membership (or lack of membership) in the PGA Tour. I really think that it would be the smartest thing for the PGA of America to leave the invitation criteria unchanged, it has the potential to keep them out of most of the coming litigation. Carving out exceptions to the criteria to specifically exclude LIV players could include the PGA of America in the alleged “conspiracy” to deprive the LIV players of their alleged “rights” to play these events. There are only 15 LIV players invited to the Masters, that number will be smaller for the PGA Championship.


Was it Michelsen said he will not return to the Masters in 2023? Can he recant his statement?

We’re gonna see? The expectations are that if you qualified by being a previous winner Phil and Brooks, Previous major winners Cam. Bryson, Dustin, This might be Patrick’s last go around, and Ancer because he finished high last year. As of now, they are letting them play. It still could change. I don’t see OGWR, points being awarded due to the structure of their events especially with shotgun starts, money can’t buy those points.

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Those with full belly, are not hungry enough to show their true grit.
They may still “want to” win a Major, but realistically, they’re out of it before they even step on the first tee. Scaping around to get their world ranking back up to validate their endorsement contract.
The priority shift in today’s professional sports. Not all good for it.