LIV’s Joaquin Niemann One of Three Special Invites to Masters

LIV’s Joaquin Niemann One of Three Special Invites to Masters
Joaquín Niemann (C) of Chile celebrates with the trophy alongside tournament host Tiger Woods (R) and Jaehoon Chang (L), President & CEO of Hyundai Motor Company, after winning during the final round of The Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, in Pacific Palisades, Calif., February 20, 2022.(Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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LIV Golf’s Joaquin Niemann of Chile was among three players given a special invitation to play in the Masters in April.

Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark and Ryo Hisatsune, a 21-year-old who is the first Japanese player to win the European Tour Rookie of the Year award, were also invited to Augusta National for the 2024 Masters.

Niemann was ranked No. 18 in the world in September of 2022 when he defected to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf. The upstart circuit does not earn points in the World Golf Rankings. Niemann is currently ranked No. 81.

His willingness to play tournaments outside the LIV Golf schedule in order to earn ranking points, a December win in the Australian Open and his fifth-place finish in the Australian PGA all played in Niemann’s favor.

“It kind of hurt me a little bit not being in the majors and I think also helped me to get motivation to kind of earn my spot back into the majors, into the elite players,” Niemann said after starting his third season with LIV with a playoff win over Sergio Garcia to win Mayakoba in early February.

Niemann has appeared in four Masters tournaments, tying for 16th in 2023.

The Masters is scheduled for April 11–14 at Augusta National in Georgia.

The Masters has awarded special invitations since 1999, when world rankings became part of the criteria to play.

This is only the second time that three invitations have been awarded in one year, with the previous time being in 2008 when Liang Wen-Chong of China, Jeev Milkha Singh of India and Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand were given invitations.

Charlie Woods, 15, to Play in Pre-qualifier on Thursday

Charlie Woods is looking to qualify for his first PGA Tour event.

Woods, 15, will compete in one of four pre-qualifier events on Thursday in a bid to punch his ticket to the Cognizant Classic in the Palm Beaches, which was formerly known as the Honda Classic.

The son of 15-time major winner Tiger Woods will compete in an 18-hole event at Lost Lake Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Fla. He will tee off at 7:39 a.m. ET and be paired with Ireland’s Ruaidhri McGee and Olin Browne Jr.—the son of the three-time PGA Tour winner.

The top 25 finishers and ties will advance to the event’s Monday qualifier at the Tesoro Club’s Palmer Course in Port St. Lucie, Fla. From there, four players will earn a spot in the field for the Cognizant Classic on Feb. 29—March 3 at PGA National Champion Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.