Sign up for our daily newsletter

Latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion, plus unmissable deals for bunkered subscriptions, events, and our commercial partners.

LIV Golf’s ongoing failure to acquire world ranking points has forced some players to seek alternate routes into major championships.

Dustin Johnson slipped from 218th to 231st in the rankings after winning LIV Golf Las Vegas, while Chilean Joaquin Niemann is down in 78th after beating Sergio Garcia in a play-off to win the Saudi-backed circuit’s season-opener at Mayakoba.

Two-time major champion Johnson remains exempt for the Big Four this year due to his Masters win in 2020. Niemann, meanwhile, secured his spot in The Open with victory at the Australian Open, but is set to miss out on the upcoming Masters.

• Tiger Woods reveals talks over LIV golfers returning to PGA Tour

• Dustin Johnson sends LIV warning despite OWGR fall

As it stands, none of the majors have indicated they would change entry requirements for LIV golfers who continue to tumble down the rankings after Greg Norman’s bid for points recognition was denied by the OWGR board last October.

And two less established players on the LIV roster have now flown to Malaysia during a break in LIV’s calendar with the hope of qualifying for golf’s oldest major.

Englishman Sam Horsfield (673) and Spaniard David Puig (245) both didn’t meet the major entry requirements before joining LIV, but can still secure places in the field at The Open at Royal Troon this summer.

• McEwan: Pretending LIV Golf doesn’t exist invalidates the OWGR (oh yes it does)

• Rory McIlroy’s LIV stance proving unpopular on PGA Tour

The duo are both competing this week in the Asian Tour’s IRS Prima Malaysian Open, which is the latest stop on the Open Qualifying Series.

As well as a rare shot at acquiring ranking points, the LIV players are among 150 players aiming to make it to Troon next year, with the top three finishers at the Mines Resort & Golf Club awarded places in the field.

Puig, who plays for Garcia’s Fireballs GC team, is in the event after his victory at the 2023 International Series Singapore, while Horsfield has accepted a tournament invitation.

This is the third tournament on the Open Qualifying Series after LIV golfer Dean Burmester secured his spot at Troon with victory at the Joburg Open and Niemann won in Australia.

Puig, 22, finished T39 at the US Open in what was his solitary major start so far. Horsfield has played in eight, making two cuts.

The 152nd Open at Royal Troon will be held from 18-21 July.


author headshot

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.

More Reads

Image Turnberry green

The bunkered Golf Course Guide - Scotland

Now, with bunkered, you can discover the golf courses Scotland has to offer. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Find Courses

Latest podcast

The 2024 Masters Commute - Day 1 LIVE from Augusta