LIV Golf players will be able to play in the 2023 Masters provided they meet the tournament's existing entry criteria.

Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson, Patrick Reed and Charl Schwartzel joined the controversial Saudi Arabia-backed breakaway LIV Golf series this year, but will be eligible to compete at Augusta next April due to being former Masters champions.

Cameron Smith has been invited to play due to his Open triumph this year, while Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka can also tee off in Georgia as a result of their major successes.

Augusta National Golf Club Fred Ridley said in a statement: "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.

"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 honour the tradition of bringing together a pre-eminent 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.

"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."

Mickelson did not play in the Masters this year as he took time out from the sport after coming in for huge criticism over comments he made about Saudi Arabia's human rights record before joining LIV Golf.

Louis Oosthuizen beat Bryson DeChambeau 1up in 23 holes to secure a spot for Stinger GC in the LIV Golf Championship in Miami on Sunday after a 2-1 team semi-finals win on Saturday.

Saturday's semi-finals were match play, with Sunday's Championship to be stroke play, but Oosthuizen and DeChambeau offered plenty of drama in their singles match at Trump National Doral.

With Stinger and the Crushers tied at 1-1, the pair could not be split until the fifth extra hole, with Oosthuizen having a long-range putt for victory fall short on the 18th hole.

But the South African swooped when DeChambeau's tee shot on the fifth extra hole found the water, with Oosthuizen finishing the job.

"At the end I think the adrenaline took over in the last few holes," the South African said. "It was a great match.

"I don’t know how many birdies we made, but very relieved now. I thought the boys had it covered so when I saw Branden [Grace] lost and I'm like 'oh boy I've got to do something here', so very chuffed."

Grace was beaten by Paul Casey in their singles match, but Charl Schwartzel and Hennie du Plessis had won 2up in the alternate shot against Charles Howell III and Anirban Lahiri.

Dustin Johnson and his 4Aces GC also advanced to Sunday's decider with a 2-1 win over Cleeks GC.

Pat Perez and Talor Gooch held off Graeme McDowell and Richard Bland in extra holes to clinch the winning point.

Cameron Smith's Punch GC knocked off Sergio Garcia's Firebirds GC 2-1, while Brooks Koepka's Smash GC were too good for Majesticks GC 3-0.

Brooks Koepka holds a two-stroke lead of LIV Golf Jeddah after finishing the opening round eight under par in Saudi Arabia.

The four-time major champion made eight birdies in his round of 62 and did not go over par on any hole to head into the weekend ahead of second-placed Charl Schwartzel, while Patrick Reed is tied for third with Hideto Tanihara and Peter Uihlein at three shots off the lead.

The inaugural individual LIV Golf champion Dustin Johnson is T16 on two under par, alongside Open champion and world number two Cameron Smith.

Johnson, who has collected 121 points across the season, struck five birdies, but a double-bogey on the par-three eighth set him back.

Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood fared slightly better at three under, the latter not carding any bogies in his round.

LIV Golf Bangkok winner Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra struggled to back up his performance in Thailand and is T28 at one under par, seven shots back from Koepka. Bryson DeChambeau, meanwhile, only managed a par 70.

After withdrawing from LIV Golf Bangkok with injury, Branden Grace carded a one-over-par round on his return to action.

Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra claimed the LIV Golf Bangkok title after carding a final-round 69 to win by three strokes on a weather-affected final day.

The 22-year-old took a five-shot lead into the final round and did enough to hold off late charges from the likes of Patrick Reed and Paul Casey, the latter of whom will be left to rue an opening round of 71 after shooting 65 on both the second and third days.

Nobody bettered Lopez-Chacarra's first and second rounds of 65 and 63 respectively, and he overcame two bogies on the front nine to finish three under on the final day and seal victory, maintaining his focus despite play being suspended for an hour and a half because of a storm in the area.

The Spaniard was a high-ranked amateur before joining the controversial Saudi-backed tour in June and now earns his first professional championship, as well as a $4million purse.

Richard Bland and Branden Grace formed part of a leading trio with Lopez-Chacarra on seven under after the opening round, but Grace withdrew with injury on Saturday while Bland could not follow up his first-day success, losing pace on the eventual winner to finish joint-third – alongside Casey and Sihwan Kim and a stroke behind second-placed Reed.

Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka was joint-eighth at 13 under, while Bryson DeChambeau ended 14th at 10 under.

Other big names were way off the pace, with Phil Mickelson 10 shots behind Lopez-Chacarra and 2022 Open Championship winner Cameron Smith finishing a disappointing tournament tied for 41st at four under.

Bryson DeChambeau says it is "crazy" that LIV Golf players have been denied the opportunity to earn world ranking points.

Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) on Thursday announced that no points will be up for grabs at the events in Bangkok this week or Jeddah next week despite a new alliance between LIV Golf and the MENA Tour being formed on Wednesday.

Players on the Dubai-based MENA Tour have been able to earn points since 2016, but OWGR refused to award points for the two remaining LIV Golf events this year as they stated that insufficient notice had been given for a customary necessary review of the changes to be carried out.

That has not gone down well with 2020 U.S. Open DeChambeau, who was among the big names to turn their back on the PGA Tour and join the Saudi-backed breakaway series.

"They're delaying the inevitable," the American said after his first round in Bangkok on Friday. "We've hit every mark in their criteria, so for us not to get points is kind of crazy with having the top - at least I believe we have the top players in the world.

"Not all of them, but we certainly believe that there's enough that are in the top 50 and we deserve to be getting world ranking points.

"When they [OWGR] keep holding it back, they're going to just keep playing a waiting game where we're going to keep dropping down in the rankings to where our points won't even matter.

"That's what they're trying to accomplish, and I hope that people can see right through that rather than believe the lies that they've been told. From my perspective, I think we deserve points."

Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka accused OWGR of "sitting on the fence".

"I don't think it [the OWGR statement] really was much of a response," Koepka said. "I just hate when you sit on the fence. Just pick a side. If it's yes or no, just pick one. I'm not a big fan of that.

"Yeah, not to say something to where it's not really an answer and we'll think about it. Just pick a side. If it's yes, if it's no, it's fine, we'll figure it out from there."

Rory McIlroy believes "golf is ripping itself apart right now" as the battle between the PGA Tour and the LIV Golf Invitational Series rages on.

The introduction of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf has caused a huge divide in the sport, with big names such as Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau defecting from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf.

The storm has also seen some defectors file lawsuits against the PGA Tour after it banned those who made the switch to LIV Golf from playing in its events.

And McIlroy, who has remained fiercely loyal to the PGA Tour, sees the dispute as harmful for players on both sides of the divide, telling reporters: "I don't want a fractured game. I never have.

"You look at some other sports and what's happened and the game of golf is ripping itself apart right now.

"It's no good for the guys on, you know, this side or the sort of traditional system and it's no good for the guys on the other side, either.

"It's no good for anyone. There is a time and a place for it. I just think right now, with where everything is, it's probably not the right time.

"I've always said I think there is a time and a place where everyone that's involved here should sit down and try to work together. It's very hard for that to happen right now when there's two lawsuits going on."

McIlroy already said on Wednesday that it fell upon LIV Golf players to take the lead on repairing relations between the two tours.

"I would just say the ball is in their court," McIlroy told the BBC.

"If they want to come to the table and try to play nicely within the sandbox that's already created, the opportunity is there."

Cameron Smith proved too good for the field at LIV Golf Chicago as the Australian scored a three-shot win for his maiden triumph on the new tour.

Smith, the reigning Open and Players champion, posted a three-under 69 in his third trip around Rich Harvest Farms, with six birdies and three bogeys seeing him finish at 13 under overall.

He started his round in a wobbly fashion, with two bogeys in his first six holes, but steadied down the stretch to fend off any late drama. Smith birdied his final two holes and capped the win with a long-range putt, living up to his reputation as arguably the world's best putter.

Smith pockets $4million, but during his interview after stepping off the 18th green he said this week was about proving how good he is, no matter where he is playing.

"I think I had to prove to probably myself and some other people that I'm a great player, and I'm still out here to win golf tournaments," Smith said.

"I'm proud of how I hung in there today, I didn't have my best stuff for the first eight or nine holes, but I stuck it tough and made a few good putts coming in – it was nice."

Smith fended off a late push from Dustin Johnson, who finished tied for second at 10 under, and said he hopes the two of them can build a friendly rivalry as LIV's top two players.

"I think so, he's probably the one in the group of players here who you look at and think he's going to be close to the top of the leaderboard every week," Smith said. "I hope he thinks the same about me, and hopefully we can keep it going."

While Johnson fell just short in the individual play, he converted a crucial birdie on the final hole to secure the fourth consecutive team title for 4 Aces GC, edging out Smash GC, who were able to count on the other player tied for second place, Peter Uihlein.

"It feels good, obviously this one was really close and came down to the wire," Johnson said. "I knew we were one up on Peter [Uihlein]'s team, so I needed to tie or beat him on the last hole, and we both made nice up-and-downs.

"It feels great to get another team win – but a little disappointed with the way I played today, and yesterday."

Despite 4 Aces GC winning overall, only two of their four members finished under par. Johnson led the way, with Patrick Reed at five under, Pat Perez at even par and Talor Gooch at three over.

Smith was done no great favours in that respect by his team-mates either, with Marc Leishman finishing tied for last at six over, while Wade Ormsby was four over to relegate Punch GC to fourth in the team standings. At least Matt Jones contributed positively, posting four under for the tournament.

Sergio Garcia and Joaquin Niemann rounded out the top five in the individual standings at eight under, Stinger GC team-mates Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel tied for sixth at seven under, and Phil Mickelson collected his first top-10 finish on the tour as he tied with Bryson DeChambeau for eighth at six under, among a group of four on that score.

Phil Mickelson is convinced the LIV Golf Invitational Series is "here to stay" and the PGA Tour's dominance has come to an end.

The 52-year-old is one of several high-profile players to move from the PGA Tour to the new controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf, including Bryson DeChambeau and Open champion Cameron Smith.

The PGA Tour has been rocked by LIV Golf's emergence and since introduced numerous changes to retain players, such as increasing purses and encouraging its biggest names to play together more often. It has also suspended defectors from its tournaments.

But Mickelson believes the PGA Tour will have to come to terms with losing players to LIV Golf, telling reporters: "The PGA Tour, for the last 20 or 30 years have had all the best players in the world.

"That will never be the case again. LIV Golf is here to stay."

The bitter dispute led to some defectors suing their former tour, but Mickelson believes cooperation between the two rival tours would be beneficial for the sport.

"The best solution is for us to come together," added Mickelson after a two-under-par opening round of the ongoing LIV Golf tournament in Chicago.

"I think that the world of professional golf has a need for the old historical 'history of the game' product that the PGA Tour provides. I think that LIV provides a really cool, updated feel that is attracting a lot younger crowds.

"Both are good for the game of golf and the inclusion of LIV Golf in the ecosystem of the golf world is necessary. As soon as that happens, we all start working together. It's going to be a really positive thing for everyone."

Bryson DeChambeau insists he harbours no regrets following his decision to join the controversial LIV Golf Invitational Series.

The 2020 U.S. Open winner became one of the biggest names to join the lucrative Saudi-backed tour in June, later describing his move as "a business decision".

Despite LIV Golf players becoming the targets of hostility when playing at majors and selected events on other tours in recent weeks, DeChambeau remains content with his choice.

"This is the biggest decision, besides choosing my agent, that I've ever made in my entire life," DeChambeau said, ahead of LIV Golf Chicago. 

"I couldn't be more happy to be over here, I have no buyer's remorse. 

"I have ultimate respect for the PGA Tour and what they've done for my career, as I've said from day one. They've allowed me this opportunity." 

While the PGA Tour has reacted furiously to the founding of the new circuit, DeChambeau said in August he was "not worried" by their blanket ban on LIV Golf players, adding: "I think it will get figured out."

The 29-year-old reiterated that belief this week, saying: "I personally believe that over the course of time they will come to a resolution. There has to be, it's only in the best interests of golf down the road.

"What LIV Golf has provided is something new and unique, different. With that being said, there is going to some disruption and people aren't going to like it. 

"I respect every single person who thinks it isn't good for the game of golf, I understand it. But I hope they are open-minded enough to go, 'you know what? I'll give this a chance'. If you give it a chance, you might just see something pretty cool.

"I'm a golf fan, first and foremost. I'm going to watch golf wherever it's played with some of the best players in the world, whoever it is. I think down the road that'll change. 

"I think that this [LIV Golf] will become something special, even more special than what it is now, and moving forward in the future, I'll still watch other tournaments that I've won and done well at before."

The subject of LIV Golf players appearing at team events such as the Ryder Cup has been fiercely debated since the split, with Rory McIlroy adamant this week none of the circuit's players should be able to feature. 

But DeChambeau, who has helped the United States to two victories at the Ryder Cup (2018 and 2021) and one at the Presidents Cup (2019), believes a ban would only serve to harm the tournaments.

"I personally think that the team events are only hurting themselves by not allowing us to play," he added. "Not allowing us to qualify through some capacity, in some facet."

Big new signings hit the ground running in the first round of LIV Golf Boston, but after 18 holes at The International Golf Club it is Matthew Wolff and Talor Gooch tied for the lead at seven under.

While Gooch got to his 63 in a traditional fashion, posting eight birdies and one bogey, Wolff had far more ups and downs, making up for his three bogeys with six birdies, an eagle and a hole-in-one – the first ace in LIV Golf history.

One stroke behind the leaders are new arrivals Cameron Smith and Joaquin Neimann, after both played in last week's PGA Tour Championship.

Smith had five birdies and two eagles, showing off his firepower, but a double-bogey on the par-four 14th hole cost him a chance at the first-round lead.

After his round, Smith called it "great fun" and said "it was nice to see a familiar face" about his pairing with Dustin Johnson.

The rest of the field is at least two further strokes back, with Kevin Na, Bernd Wiesberger, Louis Oosthuizen, Paul Casey and Anirban Lahiri occupying the tie for fifth at four under.

The logjam at three under includes Dustin Johnson and Pat Perez, who along with Gooch and Patrick Reed (one under) have their Four Aces GC sitting second in the team standings. They trail only Hy Flyers GC, consisting of Wolff, Wiesberger, Cameron Tringale (one over) and Phil Mickelson (four over, 45th out of 48).

Bryson DeChambeau and Carlos Ortiz are at one under, and the Koepka brothers – Brooks and Chase – shot even-par 70s.

World number one Scottie Scheffler has hit out at a lawsuit being brought against the PGA Tour by several of LIV Golf's leading names. 

With the PGA suspending players who joined the controversial Saudi Arabia-backed circuit, the likes of Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau are among 11 players to back a legal attempt to reverse those measures ahead of the FedEx Cup Playoffs beginning on Thursday.

While reports suggest only three LIV players – Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford – are seeking re-entry to the event, the PGA has accused them of trying "to have their cake and eat it" by attempting to feature at their events.

And Scheffler, who has been a prominent defender of the PGA Tour amid several high-profile players signing up for the LIV circuit, has little sympathy for those fighting suspension.

"I'm definitely curious to see what's going to happen," the 2022 Masters victor told a news conference on Tuesday.

"It's one of those deals where those guys kind of made their decision to go join another tour.

"They broke the rules and regulations of our tour and now they're trying to sue us, which is definitely a bit frustrating.

"I heard that was going to happen and I know some guys aren't surprised to see it, but I definitely am surprised to see some guys now suing us.

"If they win, come out here and play, I mean, that's something that's up to the courts. I can't control what's going to happen in a court case. 

"[I'm] definitely interested, but at the end of the day it has no effect on my preparation for the week."

Bryson DeChambeau says he is "not worried" about the PGA Tour's decision to indefinitely ban players who have defected to the controversial LIV Golf Invitational Series.

The sport is embroiled in a battle between the PGA Tour and the new Saudi-backed LIV Golf, with 2020 US Open champion DeChambeau one of those who has chosen to break away.

Henrik Stenson also chose to defect and was subsequently stripped of Europe's Ryder Cup captaincy before he won the third LIV event in New Jersey last week, while other players such as Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia have joined too.

It has since been reported that Tiger Woods was offered up to $800million to join LIV Golf, though he chose to reject the money in order to stay with the PGA Tour.

The Wall Street Journal have reported that Mickelson and DeChambeau, as well as a number of other defectors, are planning to sue the PGA Tour over their suspensions.

But DeChambeau was not concerned about this development and was instead enthused by what LIV Golf could do for players financially, telling Fox News: "It doesn't make sense [the ban].

"I'm not worried about that. I think it will get figured out. I personally know that it will get figured out, whether it's legally or whether they come to the table and work out terms. I definitely think it will all wash itself out in the future, pretty shortly.

"Any time anyone invests over a billion dollars into the game of golf, how is that not going to grow the game and how is that not going to provide more opportunities?

"This is our livelihoods and it was a great economic opportunity for golfers to make a lot of money. That's why we grew up playing golf - also for the history, to go and win majors, PGA Tour events and now I want to win LIV events.

"You can see the passion and competitive aspect of this environment out here and we all want to win every single week."

Henrik Stenson was victorious at the LIV Golf Bedminster tournament on Sunday, his debut event on the controversial breakaway tour.

Sweden's former Open champion completed his 54 holes on 11 under par, putting him two clear of Dustin Johnson and Matthew Wolff.

Stenson was stripped of his status as Europe's Ryder Cup captain after it was confirmed he was among the newest recruits to the Saudi-funded LIV Golf circuit.

He entered the third and final round with a three-stroke lead over Johnson, and posted three birdies and one bogey for a two-under 69 to get the job done.

Johnson, who was three under on Sunday, had to settle for matching the overall score of Wolff who put together the equal-best round of the tournament with his seven-under 64, finishing at nine under for the weekend.

Carlos Ortiz was alone in fourth at eight under, and Patrick Reed had sole possession of fifth at seven under.

With Johnson and Reed both collecting top-five finishes, and Talor Gooch being part of the five-man group at four under, their 4 Aces GC – along with fourth member Pat Perez (five over) – comfortably won the team competition, eight strokes clear of Stenson's Majesticks GC.

Brooks Koepka finished 11th at three under, alongside Martin Kaymer, while Ian Poulter was a shot back, and Charl Schwartzel snuck into the top 20 at even par.

It was a tournament to forget for Bryson DeChambeau (five over) and Phil Mickelson (six over), although Mickelson did close his weekend with his best round, shooting even par.

Henrik Stenson carded a two-under-par 69 to retain his lead after the second round of LIV Golf Bedminster, his first event on the controversial tour.

The Swede – stripped of Europe's Ryder Cup captaincy over his defection from the DP World Tour – showed steely focus on the fairways on Saturday at Trump National Golf Club.

The 2016 Open Championship winner moved clear of first-round co-leader Patrick Reed to top the standings outright at nine under, rallying after a double bogey on his third hole.

Stenson said: "I was hanging in there. I didn't feel I had my best stuff today, certainly a lot less than we played with yesterday."

Former Masters winner Reed slipped to a tie for third with a two-over 73, but he nevertheless retained a share of the lead in the team standings. Reed's 4 Aces GC team-mate Dustin Johnson moved second in the individual standings with a 69 to sit three shots off the lead at six under.

The 4 Aces advantage was cemented by a super round from Talor Gooch, who carded a best-of-the-day 64 to join Reed on five under through 36 holes, with Carlos Ortiz on the same mark.

It proved a miserable day at the office for Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau as they posted 73 and 74 respectively, with DeChambeau carding six bogeys in his round. He sits tied for 28th, with Mickelson in a share of 40th place on six over – a full 15 shots behind Stenson.

New signing Henrik Stenson is tied for the lead after the first round of LIV Golf Bedminster, shooting a seven-under 64 in his first event since committing to the controversial tour.

Stenson – who was stripped of his position as Ryder Cup captain due to his decision to leave the PGA Tour – collected eight birdies and one bogey, and helped his team Majesticks GC to second in the team standings at 10 under.

Tied for the individual lead is Patrick Reed, who also leads the team standings by one stroke along with his 4 Aces GC teammates Dustin Johnson, Pat Perez and Talor Gooch.

Alone in third place is Thailand's 23-year-old Phachara Khongwatmai at five under, and he is one stroke ahead of both Johnson and Carlos Ortiz, rounding out the top-five.

Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter, Brooks Koepka and Charles Howell III are all one shot further back at three under, while Lee Westwood headlines the group at two under, and Sergio Garcia is in the logjam at one under.

Bryson DeChambeau finished at even par after a late double-bogey, Louis Oosthuizen is at two over after posting a seven on the par-three seventh hole, and there are only three players below Phil Mickelson after he struggled to four over with five bogeys and one birdie.

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