Like the USGA before it, the R&A is disinterested in inserting itself into the fight between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, at least for now. The R&A announced this week that all golfers who have qualified for the 150th edition of its event will be allowed to play. That includes the likes of Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, all of whom are committed to the second LIV event next week in Oregon.
"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," said R&A CEO Martin Slumbers.
"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," he continued. "We are focused on staging a world-class championship in July and celebrating this truly historic occasion for golf."
This is not a surprising announcement. It is more or lessa few weeks ago before the U.S. Open. It's not declaration about the future, but rather a decision about the present that only affects this particular Open Championship. Because it's the 150th Open, there was never any chance the R&A was going to invite the political drama that would have been conjured up with anything other than a statement like this.
Perhaps it's a harbinger of the future, too. Major championship organizations are not rushing to the PGA Tour's side to help it out, according to Eamon Lynch. And why would they? It's not a fight they want to undertake, nor is it one that's been brought directly to them. The major organizations -- Augusta National, USGA, PGA of America and R&A -- seem to be waiting to see how everything plays out on the LIV Golf-PGA Tour front before any long-term decisions are made.
That's wise, too, considering how quickly everything is shifting in the world of professional golf. Nobody -- not the players, not the agents, not the organizations -- knows how all of this is going to shake out in the weeks and months ahead. After The Open in July, the majors get a nine-month reprieve before any longer-term decisions have to be made.
The 150th Open will go on as planned with all the major players you expect. None of the LIV Golf players were a factor at the U.S. Open, but Koepka, Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen -- all LIV golfers -- finished in the top 10 at the 149th Open Championship at Royal St. George's last year and all are 35-1 or shorter at this year's tournament.