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Augusta National announced many months ago that eligible LIV golfers would be allowed to tee it up in the 2023 Masters. Now, with the year’s first major just over two weeks away, we now know which LIV golfers will be allowed to compete for a green jacket on Easter weekend.
While the Masters is allowing LIV players to compete, the criteria to get into the tournament has grown shorter compared to PGA Tour players. LIV golfers can’t punch their ticket to Augusta by winning a LIV event – like a PGA Tour player can with a win – nor are any improving their Official World Golf Ranking to get inside the Top 50 seeing as how the Saudi-backed league is not recognized by the OWGR.
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Augusta will invite the Top 50 players in the world based on the rankings after this week’s action. If a LIV golfer isn’t inside the Top 50 then the only way they get into the field at Augusta is through their finishes in past major championships, the final OWGR rankings in 2022, and qualifying for last year’s Tour Championship.
This leaves 18 LIV golfers eligible to play in the 2023 Masters.
LIV Golfers Eligible To Play In The 2023 Masters, And How They Qualified
Past Masters Winners
- Dustin Johnson
- Patrick Reed
- Sergio Garcia
- Bubba Watson (2)
- Phil Mickelson (3)
- Charl Schwartzel
U.S. Open Winners Since 2018
- Bryson DeChambeau
- Brooks Koepka
Open Winners Since 2018
- Cam Smith
Top 50 In OWGR In 2022
- Louis Oosthuizen (50)
- Kevin Na (49)
- Jason Kokrak (47)
- Harold Varner III (45)
- Thomas Pieters (37)
- Abraham Ancer (30)
- Joaquin Niemann (22)
Qualified For 2022 Tour Championship
- Talor Gooch
Picking One LIV Golfer Who Could Win The 2023 Masters
You could make the case for well over half of the 18 LIV golfers on this list as players who could be in contention heading into Sunday’s final round.
There are six players who already own at least one green jacket, three players who have won at least one major in the last five years, and Louis Oosthuizen who has always played well at Augusta just to lay out a few obvious considerations.
Having said that, Cam Smith’s name is the one that immediately stands out as someone who could very well win the 2023 Masters.
Outside of a T-51 finish in 2019, Smith has finished inside the Top 10 in four of the last five Masters including a T-2 in 2020 and T-3 just last year.
Smith will be on everyone’s radar heading into Masters week, and rightly so. He’s proven himself around the grounds many times at this point and is arguably the best putter in the world.
If the putter is remotely warm and his irons are as reliable as they have been in the past it would be a surprise to not see his name towards the top of the leaderboard come Sunday.
It’s going to be both interesting and entertaining to see the storylines that come from LIV golfers and PGA Tour players having to mix it up at a full week in Augusta National. From practice round cliques, press conferences, and at least one player inevitably saying something stupid, the 2023 Masters could be unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris
One CommentLeave a Reply
I don’t have a dog in the fight, but I would love to see a couple LIV guys battling it out on Sunday just for the anarchy and to watch the talking heads squirm