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Padraig Harrington has urged the four majors to “stay above” the LIV Golf debate and include players from the breakaway tour.

R&A chief Martin Slumbers and USGA boss Mike Whan both hinted changes could be made to qualification criteria to make it harder for rebels to take part.

However, in an interview with the Times, Harrington warned the governing bodies such a move could dilute the quality.

“I strongly believe the majors should stay above everything,” he said.

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“I would not want to turn up at a major and not play against the best players in the world. They need to say, ‘We’re above all this’.”

The former Ryder Cup captain insisted he has “no skin in the game” when it comes to professional golf’s ongoing power struggle.

“I have a lot of friends who have gone to LIV and I don’t want to throw them under the bus,” he added.

“Nobody is paying me to support LIV and the PGA is my bread and butter.

“I’ve been procrastinating about [talking about LIV], putting it off. Why? Because an opinion now can be taken as dissent. It’s an awkward time. It’s so volatile.”

Tensions have grown between rival factions, particularly at this week’s BMW PGA Championship, where 17 LIV players will be in the field.

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Their inclusion has attracted criticism from some amid claims they have no interest in the DP World Tour and are instead attempting to accumulate world ranking points.

“If LIV had world ranking points and these players were turning up I’d be protesting myself,” Harrington added.

“But they need to protect their position and this is the only way.”

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