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The ongoing battle between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf Invitational Series took a significant swing in favor of the Saudi-backed breakaway tour on Tuesday morning.

Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley announced that there will not be any changes made to the qualifying criteria ahead of the 2023 Masters. As a result, all eligible golfers will receive an invite to the first major of the new year, including multiple members of LIV Golf.

"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," Ridley wrote in a statement.

"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."

While the PGA Tour has indefinitely suspended all players that jumped ship to LIV, all four of golf's major championships are independently operated. Augusta National Golf Club has absolute control over the qualifying criteria for the Masters tournament, which is currently as such: past champion of the Masters, major champion in the past five years, or ranking inside the top 50 of the Official World Golf Rankings.

Which LIV Golfers Will Play at The Masters?

In total, 16 LIV Golf players are expected to receive an invite to the 2023 Masters, including past champions Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, and Charl Schwartzel. All past champions of the Masters are granted lifetime exemptions.

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Cameron Smith, currently No. 3 in the OWGR, qualifies with his win at the 2022 Open Championship and the Players. Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka both qualified thanks to their victories at the U.S. Open in recent years.

Abraham Ancer, Talor Gooch, Jason Kokrak, Kevin Na, Joaquin Niemann, Louis Oosthuizen, and Harold Varner III received invites for being ranked inside the top 50 in the OWGR. Any other player ranked inside the top 50 in the week leading up to the 2023 Masters would also get an invite.

The Decision and Its Implications

While the decision from Augusta National to allow LIV Golfers into the 2023 Masters will be widely criticized, it shouldn't surprise anyone. At the end of the day, it's always all about the money. 

Without LIV Golfers in the field, the strength of the tournament would be detrimentally weaker. In turn, that leads to fewer eyes on the product — and less money being made. Also, the hype behind the LIV vs. PGA Tour rivalry will be at an all-time high leading into the Masters. Did you actually believe Augusta National would miss out on that opportunity?

There has been much debate over recent months about whether Augusta National would change its criteria to bar LIV Golfers from competing in the Masters. No changes have been made ahead of the 87th edition of the tournament, but Ridley mentioned in his statement that any modifications for future events will be announced in April.

The 2023 Masters is set to be played from Apr. 6-9 in Augusta, Georgia.

Check out @OnTapGolf on Twitter and stay tuned here at On Tap Sports Net for further golf news throughout the year.