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As it stands, 13 LIV Golf players are set to tee it up at this year’s Masters. 

The Saudi-backed league’s failure to offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points has made it harder for its players to qualify for the majors, after 18 competed at last year’s Augusta National showpiece.

But whilst most of the LIV contingent have earned their invites to Georgia via past major wins, there have been other routes for players on Greg Norman’s breakaway to force their way into the tournament.

Joaquin Niemann, who has won two of the first three LIV events this season, was handed a special discretionary pick after an undeniably impressive run of form in recent months.

• LIV Golf ends pursuit of Official World Golf Ranking points

• LIV Golf star claims standard is ’10 times better’ than DP World Tour

But the 25-year-old Chilean’s LIV success was not noted when his Masters invite was announced. It was Niemann’s productive off-season on the DP World Tour, including an Australian Open victory and a T4 at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic that appeared to make all the difference.

And some LIV players believe it is time their own series started getting recognised by bosses of the career-defining events, regardless of their ranking points rejection.

Bubba Watson, who has a lifetime exemption to the Masters as a two-time winner, thinks a solution that ignores the current ranking system is “easy.”

“Let’s say top 50 or top 75 on the PGA Tour get in all the Majors. DP World Tour, say whatever, top 20, 30 or 40 and for the Masters it might have to be even better,” Watson explained to Gulf News.

“Say with us, we’ve got 54 guys out here so top ten on the money list or points list, however you want to word it, gets in.

• Ian Poulter sounds off on his Ryder Cup future

• Tiger Woods might have found his way into the US Open

“Top ten, top 15 get in because they’re all great champions out here. You just start going to the money list and points. If you play enough on all of them Tours and you make the top whatever on the money list, that is how you should do it.

“Then it’s not about World Ranking, so if you want to play on the DP World Tour, PGA Tour or in Japan, you still have the chance to make these great events and that will make these great events greater.”

Watson also backed former Range Goats teammate Talor Gooch over his claim that a possible Rory McIlroy Grand Slam triumph at Augusta would need an “asterisk” over missing LIV players in the field.

“You can’t take away some of the great players just because they went to a different Tour,” the 45-year-old added.

“If they all went to the DP World Tour or if somebody went to play golf in Japan because they married a girl from there, that’s where they just choose to play golf and there’s nothing wrong with that. I think we’ve got to figure out a way to make it all work.”


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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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