Talor Gooch thinks there should be an asterisk around a Masters win without more LIV Golf players
LIV Golf

Talor Gooch thinks there should be an asterisk around a Masters win without more LIV Golf players

A photo of golfer Talor Gooch
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Talor Gooch has been known to say some surprising things, particularly since he has moved from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf. However, his most recent comments regarding LIV Golf and the Masters are perhaps the most surprising yet.

Gooch, who won LIV Golf's individual points race in 2023, believes the Masters is not inviting the right number of LIV Golf players -- to the point that it might invalidate the 2024 winner's victory.

“If Rory McIlroy goes and completes his [career] Grand Slam without some of the best players in the world, there’s just going to be an asterisk," Gooch said to Australian Golf Digest. "It’s just the reality. I think everybody wins whenever the majors figure out a way to get the best players in the world there.”

Gooch was not one of three players individually invited by Augusta National to compete in the 2024 Masters based on their performance in the last 12 months. Those spots went to Gooch's LIV Golf compatriot Joaquin Niemann, who won on LIV this year and took the Australian Open last year, as well as Ryo Hisatsune and Thorbjorn Olesen, who are splitting time with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour.

Dean Burmester and Louis Oosthuizen were also not invited despite both going back-to-back in co-sanctioned DP World Tour and Sunshine Tour events at the tail end of 2023.

Gooch feels singled out as not being rewarded for his play on LIV Golf.

“It’s not surprising," he said. "I think the majors have kind of shown that they’re not getting on board with LIV. Jaco (Niemann) went outside of LIV and played some great golf and they rewarded him for that. So hopefully the day will turn when the majors decide to start rewarding good play on LIV. Hopefully that’ll be sooner than later.”

LIV Golf commissioner Greg Norman, Bryson DeChambeau and several other LIV players and affiliated expressed outrage that Gooch was not invited. They took to comparing Gooch's place in the Official World Golf Ranking (427th) against his spot in Data Golf's rankings, as well as two other rankings that are more favorable to LIV players, in part thanks to what many see as flawed methodology.

However, perhaps more pressing to Gooch is that he isn't getting to Augusta National despite all of the other top five players from last season on LIV Golf earning the invite -- either Niemann for his ex-LIV performance or the others as former Masters winners. Gooch will apparently have to find a way to the Masters through performance away from LIV Golf or even perhaps the Asian Tour and its LIV-backed International Series. Without a clear path into the major championships in 2024, even with two chances to go through qualifying, Gooch may linger for a long time.

 

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is a scratch golfer...sometimes.

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