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:

PlayerCurrent OWGR RankRank At End of 2021Major Winner?Masters Winner?
Abraham Ancer3017NN
Bryson DeChambeau655Y (1)N
Sergio Garcia11245Y (1)Y
Talor Gooch4032NN
Dustin Johnson413Y (2)Y
Brooks Koepka5116Y (4)N
Jason Kokrak4620N
Phil Mickelson20933Y (6)Y
Kevin Na4829NN
Joaquin Niemann2231NN
Louis Oosthuizen4910Y (1)N
Patrick Reed7025Y (1)Y
Charl Schwartzel163108Y (1)Y
Cam Smith221Y (1)N
Harold Varner III4494NN
Bubba Watson82146Y (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:

PlayerOdds To Win The 2023 Masters
Abraham Ancer+10000
Bryson DeChambeau+4500
Sergio Garcia+11000
Talor Gooch+15000
Dustin Johnson+2200
Brooks Koepka+3500
Jason Kokrak+20000
Phil Mickelson+175000
Kevin Na+25000
Joaquin Niemann+5500
Louis Oosthuizen+7000
Patrick Reed+7000
Charl Schwartzel+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 so 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.

Abraham Ancer31
Bryson DeChambeau29
Sergio Garcia42
Talor Gooch31
Dustin Johnson38
Brooks Koepka32
Jason Kokrak37
Phil Mickelson52
Kevin Na39
Joaquin Niemann24
Louis Oosthuizen40
Patrick Reed32
Charl Schwartzel38
Cam Smith29
Harold Varner III32
Bubba Watson44

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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