With the explosion of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour in recent times, the golfing landscape has changed forever.
After the PGA Tour decided to ban golfers who had defected to the rival competition, major tournaments have also had to make a decision on the issue.
The 2022 Masters at the world-famous Augusta National Golf Course allowed golfers on the LIV Tour to compete
But will LIV golfers be able to play in the tournament in 2023?
MORE: Who is playing LIV Golf? Updated list of PGA Tour defectors includes Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, others
Can LIV golfers play in the 2023 Masters Tournament?
Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley confirmed on December 20 that players on the LIV Golf Tour will be able to play in the 2023 Masters Tournament.
This means the likes of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Cameron Smith and Sergio Garcia can compete for the famous green jacket at Augusta National.
Sixteen LIV tour members make up the 78 players currently qualified for the 2023 Masters.
Six of those are past champions at Augusta, including Mickelson, Johnson, Garcia, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Charl Schwartzel.
What Augusta National said about the decision to allow LIV golfers at the 2023 Masters
“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 honor the tradition of bringing together a preeminent 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.
“We have reached a seminal point in the history of our sport. At Augusta National, we have faith that golf, which has overcome many challenges through the years, will endure again.”
When is the 2023 Masters Tournament?
The 2023 Masters Tournament will be held between Monday, April 3 and Sunday, April 9.