R&A Chief To Go Public Early Next Year On LIV Golfers In Open Championship

Speaking to Golf Digest, Martin Slumbers revealed The R&A will go public early next year with what they are going to do regarding LIV players in The Open

Slumbers shakes hands with Smith
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In a wide-ranging interview with Golf Digest, Chief Executive of The R&A, Martin Slumbers, revealed that they will "go public in January/February" with what they are "going to do with regard to LIV golfers.”

Back in July, The R&A confirmed to Golf Monthly that LIV players will not be banned from future Open Championships and now, in the interview with Golf Digest, Slumbers has reiterated that point, stating: "We’re not banning anyone. We are not going to betray 150 years of history and have the Open not be open."

Check Out These Facts About The Open

He went on to add: "The name says it all. And that’s important. What we will do is ensure that there are appropriate pathways and ways to qualify. I’m looking forward to seeing Cam Smith tee-up around 9:40 a.m. on the first day of the Open next year. 

"The Open needs to set itself aside from what’s going in terms of disagreements and make sure we stay true to our principle, which is to have the best players in the world competing.”

On the eve of The 150th Open Championship, Slumbers was asked questions about the Saudi-backed series, with the Chief Executive having no issue with professionals choosing where they play and in accepting prize money that’s offered to them. However, he expressed concerns about the LIV Golf model and the pathways towards it for players. 

Once again, Slumbers has stood by his word from back in July, as he claimed that: “I worry about some of the discussions going on at the moment. “I’m not going to go into detail though, it’s not really my responsibility, but I worry about pathways being eroded. And I worry about the loss of values. 

"Why do 99 percent of people play golf? Because they feel it is good for them. They enjoy being with their friends. They enjoy the integrity golf requires. Not many play because they might win a large check. I certainly don’t."

Martin Slumbers at a press conference

Slumbers speaks on the eve of The 150th Open Championship

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Another point raised was the omission of Greg Norman from The 150th Open Championship, something that the LIV Golf CEO said was "petty" and "cheap". Slumbers though has explained the decision, revealing that “it was clear to me that Greg had not been to a champion’s dinner in quite some time. He wasn’t there in 2000, 2005, 2010 or 2015. With everything that was going on, it was clear to me that there was a reason why he wanted to be there this year." 

He added: "If he had been there, it would have been about noise. The Open has to be distinct from all that. I didn’t want to have noise between two rival tours and two big personalities. It would have overshadowed what was happening that week.

“I didn’t want other issues going on around it, ones that would have undermined it in the eyes of the public. I was very polite and very deferential to Greg. I asked him to understand my perspective and I did so privately. I did not make it public. I never said anything and never commented on it.”

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x