As we come to the end of 2022, golf fans often look to the Official World Golf Rankings to see which players find themselves in the top 50 and qualifying for The Masters.
Former Open champion and LIV Golf player Louis Oosthuizen is on the cusp of this line after the events at the Hero World Challenge, the ISPS Handa Australian Open and the Investec South African Open Championship at the weekend.
When Oosthuizen played in his first PGA Tour event of the year at the WM Phoenix Open, he was ranked 12th in the world. Now, he is projected to be 52nd and as pointed out by Nosferatu on Twitter, he has fallen outside of the top 50 for the first time since December 2014.
This is a significant move as the top 50 players in the OWGR at the end of the calendar year receive an invitation to The Masters, regardless of what tour they play on as Augusta National are yet to establish what sanctions they may put on LIV Golf players.
As the South African has moved to the Saudi-financed league organised by CEO Greg Norman, he has only played in one OWGR event since The Open back in July. This was a tied 10th-place finish at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
The result in Bahamas cannot impact anymore the Top 50 bubble. So here is the updated projection for the end of the year (week #52) in that area of the rankings. Those highlighted in turquoise are playing in the next two weeks and may still have a chance... #OWGR @TheMasters pic.twitter.com/mnWQEVd5wp— Nosferatu (@VC606) December 4, 2022
This week, the 40-year-old is entered in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek in his home country, so there is still a chance for him to wrestle his way back across the threshold.
Oosthuizen showed uncharacteristically poor form in the major championships of 2022. He withdrew from The Masters after round one, missed the cut at the US Open and at St Andrews in July, and he came tied for 60th at the USPGA Championship.
A top-four finish in each of the three latter-mentioned events would've booked him a ticket down Magnolia Lane in April. Depending on Oosthuizen's participation in OWGR events in the new year, he may have limited chances to play at the event he finished second in 10 years ago.
After Adrian Meronk won for the second time on the DP World Tour at Victoria Golf Club on Sunday, this caused Brooks Koepka to drop out of the top 50 at the end of the year for the first time since 2014 too.
Koepka joined the LIV Golf Series at the Portland Invitational and picked up his first win on the rebel series at the Jeddah Invitational in October.
The four-time major champion is projected to fall to 51st in the world rankings, but as he won the USPGA Championship in 2019, this theoretically makes him exempt for The Masters until 2024.