Masters chairman Fred Ridley said that their ultimate focus is to bring together ‘a pre-eminent field of golfers’ and they will invite players who are eligible under their current criteria.
It means previous champions such as Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel and Phil Mickelson will be at The Masters in April. Cameron Smith, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka are among the LIV players who will also qualify as a result of winning a major championship in the last five years.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Masters chairman Fred Ridley said: “From its inception in 1934, the purpose of the Masters Tournament has been to benefit the game of golf. Each April, the Masters assembles the world’s leading golfers to compete for the Green Jacket and a place in history. It provides a stage for fans to experience dramatic moments of competition at the highest level and promotes the sport domestically and abroad.
“Through the years, legends of the game have competed and won at Augusta National Golf Club. Champions like Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have become heroes to golfers of all ages. They have inspired some to follow in their footsteps and so many others to play and enjoy the game. They have supported the sport and, thus, all who benefit from it. They have shown respect for those who came before them and blazed a trail for future generations. Golf is better because of them.
“Regrettably, recent actions have divided men’s professional golf by diminishing the virtues of the game and the meaningful legacies of those who built it. Although we are disappointed in these developments, our focus is to honour the tradition of bringing together a pre-eminent field of golfers this coming April. Therefore, as invitations are sent this week, we will invite those eligible under our current criteria to compete in the 2023 Masters Tournament. As we have said in the past, we look at every aspect of the Tournament each year, and any modifications or changes to invitation criteria for future Tournaments will be announced in April.”
Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, said in July that there were no plans to ban LIV golfers from competing in the 2023 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, although, like Ridley, he said that qualification rules were constantly under review, and did not rule out future changes.