Who Are The 16 LIV Golf Players Eligible To Play In The 2023 Masters?

The likes of Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson are all set to appear at Augusta
13:00, 21 Dec 2022

After all the drama that surrounded the founding of LIV Golf last year, it seems like the move to the money has paid off for those that made the switch. The PGA Tour, who organise The Masters, have now confirmed that 16 LIV Golf players including former champions Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, will be eligible to play. 

It’s a key moment in the sport’s power struggle.

Masters chairman Fred Ridley released a statement explaining the decision to include those who were tempted by the Saudi-backed tour. 

"From its inception in 1934, the purpose of the Masters Tournament has been to benefit the game of golf. Each April, the Masters assembles the world's leading golfers to compete for the Green Jacket and a place in history. It provides a stage for fans to experience dramatic moments of competition at the highest level and promotes the sport domestically and abroad…

"Regrettably, recent actions have divided men's professional golf by diminishing the virtues of the game and the meaningful legacies of those who built it. Although we are disappointed in these developments, our focus is to honour the tradition of bringing together a pre-eminent field of golfers this coming April.”

Reading between the lines, he has basically stated that he wants the best players in the world at The Masters as those top golfers make the competition so prestigious. It will make the tournament more watchable as the best players in the world compete in the same competition once again, but there is an underlying feeling that the LIV Golf players have got away with one. 

It was a calculated judgement from the likes of DJ and Bubba Watson. They know that the PGA tour ultimately needs them more than they need it and this power shift has now tilted in their favour after The Masters’ announcement. 

Not all LIV Golf participants will be invited to play, only the cream of the crop, separated into the qualification categories. If you are a former Masters champion then you are automatically invited. Currently there are six LIV Golf players that have slipped on the green jacket; Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia and Charl Schwartzel. 

Then you have the three players that have won a major in the last five years; Cam Smith, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka. Finally, those players in the top 50 of the world at the end of 2022 will also be included. They are; Talor Gooch, Kevin Na, Joaquin Niemann, Jason Kokrak, Louis Oosthuizen, Harold Varner III and Abraham Ancer. 

So 16 players in total from LIV Golf will be rocking up at Augusta in April. The biggest four days of golf in the entire season will now include the best in the world, although the groupings and evening dinner could be awkward, given the comments that have been made from both sides over the past 12 months. 

The Masters 2023 Odds With Betfred*

*18+ | BeGambleAware

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