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Jon Rahm is confident a LIV golfer will win this year’s Masters. 

“There are quite a few major champions in LIV, and there are a few that are major champion quality golfers,” said the Spaniard, who is looking to become just the fourth player in history to win back-to-back green jackets.

“So just pure numbers, if you go with math, wouldn’t be the highest, but I’m confident that one of us can get it done this year.”

Last year, with 18 active LIV players in the field, the three of the top-five on the leaderboard was made up of those competing on the Saudi-backed circuit.

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The likes of Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Cam Smith and Joaquin Niemann will lead the LIV contingent this time around, but there are only 13 players from Greg Norman’s tour competing at Augusta National.

Here’s the eight players who have dropped out of the Masters field having competed at Augusta last season…

Talor Gooch

The American has made his fair share of Masters headlines – considering he isn’t even in this year’s field. Gooch’s controversial suggestion that a Rory McIlroy victory would need an asterisk due to some LIV golfers missing out because of their world rankings caused quite the stir. LIV’s individual champion in 2023 has plummeted below the top 500 in the rankings and is currently ineligible for all four of this year’s majors.

Abraham Ancer

Ancer is a familiar case study of LIV Golf’s world rankings plight costing their golfers in majors. The Mexican was 20th when he signed almost two years ago, but is now below the top 200 in the rankings. He finished T39 at Augusta last year whilst still inside the top 50, but a successful start to Ancer’s LIV season with a win in Hong Kong won’t bear fruit in terms of major appearances.

Louis Oosthuizen

The South African with the dreamy swing claimed a late invite to the 2023 edition as he ended the year 50th in the world rankings. But he withdrew citing an injury and is now outside the cut-off, despite wins on the DP World Tour’s Alfred Dunhill Championship and AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open during LIV’s off-season. Of course, Oosthuizen’s time at Augusta will likely be remembered for losing out to Bubba Watson in a 2012 playoff.

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Thomas Pieters

Pieters has a T4 finish in the Masters back in 2017, but the Belgian now appears a long way off from making an impact in the career-defining events. He finished T48 in his fourth appearance last year, but has gone from being comfortably inside the top 50 to outside the world’s top 300. Needless to say that, without a big change to the rules, it will be a long road back to the majors for the former Ryder Cup star.

Mito Pereira

Pereira almost shocked the world at the 2022 PGA Championship but before collapsing with a one-shot lead on the 72nd hole. He’s not contended at a major since, but his T3 finish in Tulsa did gain him entry to the 2023 Masters, where he made the cut. The Chilean is now 170th in the rankings and will be surely cheering on his countryman and LIV teammate Joaquin Niemann, who was offered a special discretionary pick this year for his performances on the DP World Tour.

Harold Varner III

The American’s position in the world rankings at the end of the 2022 season earned him a spot at last year’s tournament, despite having moved to LIV. He made the cut, impressively finishing T29, but there was no way back to Augusta for 2024.

Kevin Na

Rather like Oosthuizen, Na’s most recent Masters memory is a sad one. The Iron Heads GC captain withdrew after just nine holes of last year’s showpiece due to illness, in what could have been his final Augusta National appearance. Na is one of the most extreme examples of LIV players plummeting down the rankings without access to points. You’ll have to scroll down to the 1257 to find the five-time PGA Tour winner.

Jason Kokrak

It’ll hardly come as a surprise that Kokrak has drifted outside major contention. He missed the cut with an eight-over aggregate at last year’s Masters having qualified through his world ranking at the end of 2022. The 38-year-old now plays for Brooks Koepka’s Smash GC team on the LIV series.

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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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