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The man who Greg Norman believes is the “best iron player” he has seen over the past two decades won’t be teeing it up at The Masters.

A total of 13 LIV players will be taking the short flight from this week’s event at Trump Doral in Miami to Georgia for the first major of the season.

Defending champion Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka lead the LIV contingent at Augusta National, while discretionary pick Joaquin Niemann is also widely fancied after strong performances on the Saudi-backed circuit.

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But LIV CEO Norman does not think trio have the iron game of Talor Gooch, the league’s 2023 individual champion who has slipped outside of major contention in 2024.

“Talor Gooch is the best iron player in the game of golf in the past 20 years that I’ve personally witnessed,” Norman said on LIV’s broadcast in Miami. “I’ve just loved watching him. His iron play is so precise.”

Norman’s bold claim has, perhaps unsurprisingly, caused quite the stir on social media.

In stats released by LIV prior to this event in Miami, Gooch ranked 17th in Greens in Regulation, averaging at just over 70%. This season, though, he appears to have excelled more around the greens, ranking sixth in “Putting Average” and second in scrambling.

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Gooch, who trailed Sergio Garcia by two shots heading into Sunday’s final round at the Blue Monster course, is one of the eight LIV golfers who have lost their place in the Masters having competed last year.

The 32-year-old American won three LIV events last season, but has suffered due to LIV’s plight without world rankings.

As it stands, he is 550th in the world rankings and is currently ineligible for all four majors this season.

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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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