Martin Slumbers, the Managing Director of Royal & Ancient, was expected at a press conference on Wednesday, in particular to comment on the possible embargo of dissident players from LIV Golf in the next editions of the British Open. If he did not advance the slightest future exclusion, he did however stress that the qualification processes could be modified.
Lionel VELLA, in St Andrews (Scotland)
At the stage of mike whanthe boss of the USGA (United States Golf Association), questioned before the US Open, won by the Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrickon the future of the dissident players of the LIV Golf, martin sleepsthe Director General of Royal and ancientadopted practically the same speech.
No firm and definitive bans from 2023 – “ it’s not on the agenda – but rather adjustments, in particular in the qualification process currently in force.
“ We will review our exemption and qualification criteria for the Openthus explained Martin Slumbers. Although we do this every year, we reserve the right to make changes if our Committee deems it appropriate. Players must earn their place in the Open and this is fundamental to its philosophy and its unique global appeal! »
However, he did not hide his disapproval of the concept launched at the beginning of June with these LIV Golf Invitational Seriesled by Greg Norman and supported with millions of dollars by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF).
I believe the pattern we saw at Centurion and Pumpkin Ridge is not in the best long-term interest of the sport as a whole.
” Professional golfers have the right to choose where they want to play and accept the money offered to themresume it. But I believe the pattern we saw at Centurion (June 9-11) and Pumpkin Ridge (June 30-July 2) is not in the best long-term interest of the sport as a whole. He is here entirely motivated by money. We believe this undermines the merit-based culture and competitive spirit that makes golf so special. This sport is much more than just a professional sport, and we all propose to remember that. »
Slumbers, on the other hand, did not wish to comment on LIV Golf’s request to be included in the world rankings, referring the appropriate Commission (of which he is a member) to speak in due time. He was, however, more vocal about the decision not to invite Greg Norman for the ceremonies of the 150th The Open in history.
” Greg hasn’t been here since 2010. He wasn’t here in 2015 either. In fact, it’s been many years since he’s been to the Open. If he had come this year, it would have been for another reason. So it was very clear for us to protect the integrity of the tournament this week… »
Photo: Oisin Keniry/R&A via Getty Images