R&A announced Wednesday that it will allow players participating in the LIV Golf Invitational Series to compete in the 150th Open Championship in St Andrews next month.
The decision comes after the United States Golf Association allowed players who joined the LIV Golf Series, which is financially backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, to play in the US Open last weekend at The Country Club in Brooklyn, Massachusetts, which was won by England’s Matt Fitzpatrick.
A source confirmed to ESPN Tuesday that four-time major champion Brooks Koepka has become the latest player to move to LIV Golf, joining a host of stars including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau.
“The Open Championship is golf’s original tournament, and since it was first played in 1860, openness has been fundamental to its unique ethos and allure,” R&A CEO Martin Slumbers said in a statement. “Players who have been exempted or secured a place by qualifying for the 150 Open as per the entry terms and conditions will be able to compete in the tournament in St Andrews. We are focused on organizing a world championship in July and celebrating this truly historic occasion for golf. We will invest the proceeds from The Open, as We always do, for the benefit of golf that reflects our goal of ensuring that the sport thrives 50 years from now.”
Opening begins July 14.
LIV Golf hosted its first event in St Albans, on the outskirts of London, earlier this month, with former Masters champion Charles Schwarzl winning the inaugural championship.
Sources told ESPN Tuesday that the PGA Tour has plans to respond to the immediate threat to LIV Golf, which has now signed eight of the top 50 players, offering a renewed schedule that will include growing portfolios of at least $20 million in eight existing marquee events, although The Tour Players Advisory Committee and Board of Directors have yet to agree to the changes.
Members of the PGA Tour were told of the plans at a meeting at the Travelers Championships in Cromwell, Connecticut, on Tuesday.
Open Championship champion Colin Morikawa reiterated on Tuesday that he will not be joining LIV Golf.
“To emphasize the record, once again, you are all completely wrong. I have said since February in Riviera that I am here to stay at PGATOUR and nothing has changed. Now if you will excuse me, I’ve got some pills to pour into my milk,” Morikawa said. chirp.