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The Masters Tournament Has FINALLY Officially Spoken On Whether LIV Golfers Are Welcome At The 2023 Masters

Masters.com - 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.

A list of those currently eligible for invitation is available here.

They're IN.

This is the right call by Chairman Ridley and his army of green jackets. While I hate a lot of what LIV Golf stands for and how it's fractured the sport, the Masters is the Masters. It's the pinnacle of the sport. To leave out anyone who's earned their way into that Tournament would diminish the Tournament entirely. Both past, present, and future Tournaments.

Leaving LIV guys out would have sent ripples throughout the golf world. There are a handful of governing bodies (too many, I'll say) and stakeholders in the golf world as a whole, but nobody marches to the beat of their own drum and garners the respect that Augusta National does. When ANGC speaks, people listen. If they allowed shorts (they won't), everyone would follow. If they built a par 6 (they definitely won't), I'm sure we'd start seeing those elsewhere too. And if they had turned down guys who rightfully earned their way in, it's likely that other majors would have followed suit. That would only serve to further sow division in the golf world and that's exactly the opposite of what us, the fans, want.

It's not as if this decision isn't directly in the Masters best interest either. As my colleague D Rap notes, it would have diminished their product greatly.

It was an easy choice to make, and an appropriate one to make now as another round of players qualify by being in the Official World Golf Rankings' Top 50 at calendar year-end. Of course, there's an entire discussion to be had about how the OWGR boxes out LIV guys, and we've had that discussion ad nauseum over the past year. You'll notice that the Masters Tournament has had nothing to say on that front. That's the way they like it. Say their piece, steer clear of controversy, and fade back into the azalea bushes where they came from.

All in all, this is another great reminder that the Masters is going to be here before we know it. That first commercial is going to pop up on CBS football coverage over the holidays and it's gonna hit soooo good.

 It'll be fascinating to watch how they choose to put together groupings. It wouldn't surprise me in the spirit of minimizing noise if they kept the biggest names from each side separated, but how salacious could some of those groupings be if they leaned into it?!? Give me all the juice and then some. I want Boom Boom and Phil going at it.

I want Rory and Sergio icing each other on the first tee.

Gimme Billy Ho and Brooks Koepka at each other's throats

Ok that last quote is fake, but not a soul would be surprised if that's exactly what goes through Koepka's noodle.

All in all, I'm hyped af for this year's Masters and the rest of the year's majors. Those are going to be the battlegrounds for this ongoing war for years to come, and that's exactly what majors are all about. Who is the best of the best? 

Can. Not. Wait.