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Masters unlikely to change exemption criteria for LIV golfers in 2024

LIV golfers like Taylor Gooch are hoping to qualify for a major championship in 2024 through a special exemption.

Bryson DeChambeau proposed an idea on how to make this possible, suggesting that the top 12 players at the end of the LIV golf season should be given an invitation to next year’s major.

The R&A, which hosts the Open Championship, is open to that idea, but the Masters is not.

At least until 2024.

“While there was some speculation last year about whether we would invite LIV golfers, we stayed true to our eligibility criteria and invited everyone who was eligible,” Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley said in a statement. Ta. Prior to Asia Pacific Amateur Championship.

“So at this point we don’t have any plans to make any changes in 2024, but we are always looking at changes and we will continue to make them. I would like to answer… Eligibility is very dynamic and we always take that into account as we adjust to what we feel is the best interest of a tournament that represents the best players in the world.”

Jon Rahm poses with Fred Ridley after winning the 2023 Masters.
Photo by Andrew Reddington/Getty Images

Last April, 18 LIV golfers, including Koepka, were in attendance when Jon Rahm defeated Brooks Koepka on Sunday to win his first career green jacket.

Some players, including Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson, and Charles Schwartzel, received invitations because they had previously won the Masters. Those who receive a green jacket can return to the Masters at any time.

Some players, including Cameron Smith, Koepka and DeChambeau, were invited because they had won a major championship within the past five years.

Winners of the PGA Championship, U.S. Open and Open Championship receive an invitation to the Masters for five years after winning.

So what happened to the other nine LIV golfers who competed in the 87th Masters?

Abraham Ansah, Gooch, Jason Kokrak, Kevin Na, Joaquin Niemann, Louis Oosthuizen, Thomas Peters, and Harold Varner III all ended up within the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR). Because he was ranked, he earned entry into this field. For the 2022 calendar year.

Meanwhile, Mito Pereira finished in the top four at the 2022 PGA Championship.

He held the lead on the 72nd hole, but hit his tee shot into a creek, paving the way for Justin Thomas to beat Will Zalatoris in a playoff.

In any case, the Masters invites all players ranked within the top 50 at the end of a given year, not just those who may have been in the top 50 the week before the tournament.

Athletes who finished in the top four in other major tournaments the previous year will also be invited.

Augusta National also invites players who finished tied for 12th or better at the previous year’s Masters.

Patrick Reed, Masters

Patrick Reed at the 2023 Masters.
Photo credit: David Cannon/Getty Images

However, since LIV Golf does not receive OWGR points, it is very likely that many of these players who received invitations to the 2023 Masters will not be invited in 2024.

Koepka and Smith are the only LIV golfers ranked within the top 50, currently ranked 18th and 19th, respectively.

But Ridley and the Augusta National board set this standard each year, so Ridley doesn’t object to it.

“They made a decision based on what they thought was best for their golf careers, and we certainly respect that,” Ridley said of the LIV players.

“Our invitation criteria clearly states that we reserve the right to invite international players as a special exemption, but last year we made a special exemption for amateurs. So we always look at that. However, these decisions have been made and we need to do what is in the best interest of the Masters, and we will continue to do so.”

Jack Mirko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko Cover more golf.Be sure to check it out @_PlayingThrough Too.

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