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Golf stars playing in the controversial Saudi-backed LIV series will be allowed to compete at next month’s 150th Open, the R&A have announced. Speculation has been rife concerning whether stars such as Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson would be allowed to participate after they opted to turn their back on the PGA Tour in favour of the lucrative series. 

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said: “The Open is golf’s original championship and since it was first played in 1860, openness has been fundamental to its ethos and unique appeal.

“Players who are exempt or have earned a place through qualifying for The 150th Open in accordance with the entry terms and conditions will be able to compete in the Championship at St Andrews. We are focused on staging a world class championship in July and celebrating this truly historic occasion for golf. We will invest the proceeds of The Open, as we always do, for the benefit of golf which reflects our purpose to ensure that the sport is thriving 50 years from now.”

The decision to allow those already qualified or exempt means the likes of former World No. 1 Johnson, Mickelson – a former Open champion – and Bryson DeChambeau will be able to play in the final major of the year at the iconic St Andrews course. The R&A have ultimately opted to follow the lead of the USGA, who allowed qualified LIV participants to compete at the US Open at Brookline, Massachussetts last week.

READ MORE: PGA Tour fight back over Saudi takeover with new lucrative tournament