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A rough 24 hours for Talor Gooch just got a whole lot rougher.

The reigning LIV Golf Individual champion has come under fire for remarks he made in an interview with Australian Golf Digest.

Gooch, 32, said it was “not a surprise” to him that he has been overlooked for an invite to The Masters, despite a standout season on LIV in 2023.

A number of LIV players will miss out on the opening men’s major of the year, prompting Gooch to add: “If Rory McIlroy goes and completes his [career] Grand Slam without some of the best players in the world, there’s just going to be an asterisk. It’s just the reality.”

The American has been widely derided for his comments on social media and now six-time PGA Tour winner Rocco Mediate has joined in the backlash.

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Speaking on SiriusXM radio, the 61-year-old pulled no punches with his withering assessment of Gooch’s comments.

“So if Rory wins The Masters there should be an asterisk, I wonder why that is?” said Mediate. “Everybody that belongs in The Masters, all the past champions that are on LIV are playing. Is it because he’s not in? What has he ever done? What has he ever done?

“The fact that he was the best player on LIV last year is an embarrassment. Fact. So, he’s won one tournament on the PGA Tour. Does that mean he can count that whenever the hell that was? No-one cares. So please, he just needs to be quiet, go about his business, take all his money. Just stop it.

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Mediate, who played in The Masters ten times in his career, wasn’t done there.

“To say something about Rory, are you kidding me? Are you absolutely kidding me? It’s embarrassing. LIV should be going, ‘Dude, you need to shut up, just shut up, we’ll handle this’.

“All the guys who should be at Augusta National, guess what, they will be.”

The 88th edition of The Masters takes place at Augusta National Golf Club from April 11-14. For all of the build-up, make sure to bookmark this page.

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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