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LIV Golf’s Talor Gooch has taken another swipe at the credibility of the men’s major championships.

The American, who won last year’s individual LIV Golf Championship, admits he is disappointed to go without an invitation for the Masters in April.

After the season-ender in Miami, Gooch said: “Being able to play in the majors, it’s the pinnacle of golf, so if I don’t get that chance, that’s going to suck.”

And it appears his plea to the authorities has fallen on deaf ears, as the event looms.

Last week, Augusta National Golf Club issued three special invitations to the Masters, with one handed to fellow LIV golfer Joaquin Niemann.

It cited the Chilean’s Australian Open victory and two other top-10s in DP World Tour-sanctioned events as justification.

Niemann has moved up to No. 72 in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR), while Gooch – a winner of three LIV events last season – has plummeted to world No. 427.

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Despite a late invitation being a possibility, Gooch argued “it’s not surprising”, as he claimed there would be an asterisk on a Rory McIlroy Grand Slam.

“I think the majors have kind of shown that they’re not getting on board with LIV.” the 32-year-old told Australian Golf Digest.

“‘Jaco’ [Niemann] went outside of LIV and played some great golf, and they rewarded him for that.

“So, hopefully the day will turn when the majors decide to start rewarding good play on LIV.

“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.

“I think everybody wins whenever the majors figure out a way to get the best players in the world there.”

The former PGA Tour winner finished T34 at Augusta last year, as new recruit Jon Rahm scooped the green jacket.

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Meanwhile, former world no. 1 Lee Westwood backed Gooch, claiming that the OWGR is “not fit for purpose”, given the current rankings of major winners Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau.

“I think the Official World Golf Ranking has got itself into a real hole,” the Englishman said.

“It’s got itself to a point where it’s obsolete, really, if I’m being completely honest. It’s managed to be so stubborn that it no longer ranks all the best golfers in the world fairly.

“And it’s gone so far that I don’t see how it can come back from the hole that it’s in because you can’t backdate them.”

“It’s there to rank the best golfers in the world and it doesn’t do that. And if you are a major championship and you’re looking for the best fields, you now can’t go off the OWGR to formulate your fields and use them for exemptions.”


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John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

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