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You’re in! LIV Golf star earns special invitation for the Masters

Joaquin Niemann, along with two DP World Tour stars, have been invited to play the Masters…

 

LIV Golf’s Joaquin Niemann has accepted a special invitation to play at the 2024 Masters.

Chairman of the Masters and Augusta National Fred Ridley said the tournament looks forward to welcoming the Chilean star who won LIV Golf’s opening event in Mexico this year, as well as Thorbjorn Olesen and Ryo Hisatsune.

“The Masters Tournament has a long-standing tradition of inviting leading international players who are not otherwise qualified,” Ridley said in a statement.

“Today’s announcement represents the Tournament’s continued commitment towards developing interest in the game of golf across the world. We look forward to welcoming each player to Augusta National this spring.”

Niemann said he wanted to play in the first major of the year, where he finished in a career-best tie for 16th in 2023, at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic in January.

“It’s exciting,” Niemann said at the International Series Oman.

“I was trying to chase that invite so it is nice that they called me yesterday – I am super excited with that news.

“I obviously love that course at Augusta National and it is one of those courses you must be hitting it well off the tee and hitting it long. If I keep driving it well, I think it is going to serve me well and I’m looking forward to that week.

“I’m looking forward for all those next three weeks, they will all give me good preparation for what’s coming next. I like my chances and I want to play well. Obviously, I can’t say what’s going to happen, I have to go out there and grind it.”

Joaquin Niemann

Joaquin Niemann: LIV Golf star now eligible for Masters and The Open

Niemann went on a quest for world ranking points and a way into the majors on the DP World Tour as soon as the LIV Golf 2023 season ended in October, winning the ISPS Handa Australian Open just over a month later.

This earned him a spot at this year’s Open Championship at Royal Troon and he has always made clear his desire to play alongside the top stars at golf’s top events.

Currently sitting 81st in the Official World Golf Rankings, Niemann will join fellow LIV colleagues such as Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson down Magnolia Lane in April.

Niemann’s inclusion in the Masters field will undoubtedly bring a smile to the face of his LIV Golf colleagues, some of whom have called for the majors to allow a selection of spots for players from the Saudi-funded league to compete.

As the league doesn’t qualify for world ranking points (yet), players have fallen in the standings and world rankings are often central to major qualification criteria.

Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, who has a lifetime exemption to play at Augusta, suggested on the NCG Golf Podcast that the majors could give LIV Golf 10 spots, which could be an alternative to chasing world ranking points which LIV was rejected for in October.

“If you want to say the PGA Tour is the biggest tour, then give them the most spots off their money list. Then next would be the DP World Tour,” Watson said.

“So just because of the money and the world rankings, because guys want to live in the US and don’t want to travel to Europe, that shouldn’t hinder – just give them less spots in the majors.

“With us only having 48 players, then give us like 10 spots.”

NOW READ: Which LIV Golfers are eligible for majors in 2024?

NOW READ: Where will Joaquin Niemann play next on the LIV Golf schedule?

What do you make of this Joaquin Niemann Masters invitation? Tell us on X/Twitter!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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