Harrington Says LIV Golf Players Should Be Eligible For Majors

The three-time Major winner also says he understands why LIV Golf players are in the field for the BMW PGA Championship

Padraig Harrington takes a shot in the 2022 Ally Challenge
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Padraig Harrington has said that LIV Golf players should be allowed to play in Majors. 

There have been some concerns that rules may be altered to omit LIV Golf players from future Majors including The Masters. Indeed, only last week, LIV Golf player Bubba Watson expressed his concern about a potential Masters ban. However, the Irishman told The Times (opens in new tab) that protecting the Majors should be paramount. He said: “I have a lot of friends who have gone to LIV and I don’t want to throw them under the bus. Nobody is paying me to support LIV and the PGA is my bread and butter. I strongly believe the Majors should stay above everything."

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Video: What Is LIV Golf?

Because of that, Harrington, who won three Majors between 2007 and 2008, also said that he has no issue with 17 LIV Golf players teeing it up in this week's BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth so they can accumulate the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points they need to qualify for Majors. 

OWGR points are currently unavailable on the Saudi-backed Series, and there are fears that if that doesn't change soon, it will inevitably lead to its players becoming ineligible for Majors as time goes on. However, as far as Harrington is concerned, that would be far too damaging. He said: “I would not want to turn up at a Major and not play against the best players in the world. They need to say: ‘We’re above all this'. If LIV had world ranking points and these players were turning up I’d be protesting myself. But they need to protect their position and this is the only way.”

Some players in this week's field, including Rory McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick, Billy Horschel and Jon Rahm have expressed reservations about the participation of LIV Golf players, with the latter two criticising their appearances for the same reason Harrington says they should play – the accumulation of OWGR points.

However, while there is some unease about their participation, others in the field are far more comfortable with the situation. Earlier, Luke Donald dismissed suggestions there was tension between LIV Golf players and others in the field, and his comments followed earlier claims from Gonzalo Fernández-Castano, Scott Hend and Romain Langasque they had no issue with LIV Golf players appearing.

Mike Hall
Freelance Staff Writer

Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.