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  • Masters Tournament Officials Remain Firm: No Formal Qualification Path For LIV Golfers

Masters tournament officials remain firm: No formal qualification path for LIV golfers

Tournament officials have no plans to establish a formal pathway for LIV Golf players to qualify for the Masters, according to Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley.

Defending champion Jon Rahm this week became the latest player to call for those on the Saudi-backed circuit to be able to "earn their way" into majors, a process made much harder by a lack of world ranking points for LIV events.

Rahm has a lifetime exemption for the Masters following his victory last year but fellow LIV players will have to continue to rely on special invitations.

Asked how LIV players would be assessed when determining the field for the Masters, Ridley said: "There's been a lot of discussion about that and presently we do use the Official World Golf Rankings.

"We believe that it is a legitimate determiner of who the best players in the game are.

"There's been communication that's been public regarding LIV's application [for ranking points], which subsequently was withdrawn after some remedial suggestions were made regarding pathways and access to players and concern about some of the aspects of team golf.

"But I think in our case we're an invitational and we can adjust as necessary. A great example this year is Joaquin Niemann, who was given a special invitation.

"If we felt that there were a player or players, whether they played on the LIV Tour or any other tour, who were deserving of an invitation to the Masters, we would exercise that discretion with regard to special invitations.

"I think it will be difficult to establish any type of points system that had any connection to the rest of the world of golf because they're basically, not totally, but for the most part, a closed shop.

"There is some relegation but not very much. It all really depends on what new player they sign.

"Our goal is to have, to the greatest extent possible, the best field in golf, the best players in the world. Having said that, we never have had all the best players in the world because of the structure of our tournament.

"It's an invitational. It's a small field. We've always honoured our past champions, we also honour amateurs, but we do have flexibility."

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