Augusta National Will Invite LIV Golfers

Augusta National Will Invite LIV Golfers; What’s The Chance A LIV Player Wins?

A letter released today by Augusta National says what I have long thought: that LIV golfers will be invited if they meet the current Masters qualification criteria.

That means past Masters Champions — such as Phil Mickelson — will get their letters, as will LIV players who finished in the Top 12 in 2022, in the Top Four at the US Open, the Open Championship, and in the PGA.

The Masters also grants five-year exemptions for US Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship winners.

Given that Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia, Charl Schwartzel and Patrick Reed are getting invites as past champions.

Cam Smith should get an invite on the basis of his Open Championship win in 2022. Brooks Koepka should get in for his 2019 PGA Championship win. Bryson Dechambeau should get in on the basis of his 2020 US Open Win.

What is going to exclude some other LIV players is the “Top 50 in the OWGR” measure. Joaquin Niemann (22), Abraham Ancer (30), Talor Gooch (40), Harold Varner III (44), Jason Kokrak (46), Kevin Na (48) and Louis Oosthuizen (49) should get in.

Other “name” LIV players have fallen out of the Top 50. Some, like Pat Perez and Graeme McDowell probably wouldn’t have made the Top 50 at any rate. Perez was 277 at the end of 2021, before he signed with LIV. McDowell was 326 at the end of 2021.

Some players on the bubble, like Ian Poulter, could possibly have made it on points if they stayed with their original tours and managed a few top finishes.

The 2023 Masters: What LIV Players Are In

The LIV invite list to the Masters should look like this:

players Current OWGR Rank Rank At End of 2021 major winners? Master’s Winner?
Abraham Ancer 30 17 N N
Bryson DeChambeau 65 5 Y (1) N
Sergei Garcia 112 45 Y (1) Y
Talor Gooch 40 32 N N
DustinJohnson 41 3 Y (2) Y
Brooks Koepka 51 16 Y (4) N
Jason Kokrak 46 20 N
Phil Mickelson 209 33 Y (6) Y
Kevin Well 48 29 N N
Joaquin Niemann 22 31 N N
Louis Oosthuizen 49 10 Y (1) N
Patrick Reed 70 25 Y (1) Y
Charles Schwarzel 163 108 Y (1) Y
Cam Smith 2 21 Y (1) N
Harold Varner III 44 94 N N
Bubba Watson 82 146 Y (2) Y

What Are The Odds A LIV Player Wins?

What are the odds that any of these win the Masters. Here’s what says:

players Odds To Win The 2023 Masters
Abraham Ancer +10000
Bryson DeChambeau +4500
Sergei Garcia +11000
Talor Gooch +15000
DustinJohnson +2200
Brooks Koepka +3500
Jason Kokrak +20000
Phil Mickelson +175000
Kevin Well +25000
Joaquin Niemann +5500
Louis Oosthuizen +7000
Patrick Reed +7000
Charles Schwarzel +20000
Cam Smith +1400
Harold Varner III +10000
Bubba Watson +8000

Cam Smith and Dustin Johnson seem like good bets. Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau might have a chance. The rest? Not that much. LIV’s biggest names are mostly aging former stars. Roughly three quarters of all majors since 1960 have been won by players under the age of 35. Less than 10% have been won by players over 40. A couple of those were transcendent players, like Nicklaus and Mickelson.

players Age
Abraham Ancer 31
Bryson DeChambeau 29
Sergei Garcia 42
Talor Gooch 31
DustinJohnson 38
Brooks Koepka 32
Jason Kokrak 37
Phil Mickelson 52
Kevin Well 39
Joaquin Niemann 24
Louis Oosthuizen 40
Patrick Reed 32
Charles Schwarzel 38
Cam Smith 29
Harold Varner III 32
Bubba Watson 44

Majors level golf is a young man’s game. By that standard, the best chance in the group to win goes to Joaquin Niemann, Bryson DeChambeau and Cam Smith.

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