LIV Golf's Louis Oosthuizen may NEVER play in The Masters again

Louis Oosthuizen may have just played in his last ever Masters.

Andy Roberts's picture
Sun, 9 Apr 2023
LIV Golf's Louis Oosthuizen may NEVER play in The Masters again

LIV Golf's Louis Oosthuizen may very well have played in his last ever Masters Tournament this week as a result of his lowly world golf ranking position. 

Oosthuizen, 40, was forced to withdraw from The Masters as a result of 'injury' despite the fact he was already going to miss the cut at 7-over par even if he had returned to play the 18th hole on Saturday. 

The cut fell at 3-over, the same score as Tiger Woods who entered the record books

It marked the second year running where Oosthuizen has withdrawn from The Masters. 

Oosthuizen became the third player to tap out of Augusta National this week, doing the same as fellow LIV Golf player Kevin Na and PGA Tour star Will Zalatoris

He was one of 18 LIV Golf players to compete in The Masters this week. 

While it remains uncertain as to how much Oosthuizen made from signing to LIV Golf, he has competed on Greg Norman's circuit since the very first event at Centurion Club in June 2022. 

Oosthuizen's Stinger team even won the event that week. 

So why has Oosthuizen potentially played in his last ever Masters Tournament? 

The South African now finds himself down at 120th in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) and that position is only going to get a whole lot worse with the LIV Golf League remaining shut out of receiving world golf ranking points. 

That could change at some point down the line, but right now there has been no update as to whether the Saudi-backed circuit will ever pick up much-needed ranking points.

Oosthuizen finished runner-up at The Masters in 2012 when losing out to fellow LIV Golf player Bubba Watson

That has been his only top-10 finish in 15 appearances at The Masters. 

Oosthuizen, a former World No.4, only received an invite to compete in this week's Masters Tournament as a result of being in the top 50 on the OWGR at the end of the previous calendar year.

He was 48th in the world at the end of 2022, which reflects just how quickly you can lose OWGR points when you're tied to LIV Golf. 

Related: Norman reveals he was shunned an invite to The Masters

Should LIV Golf remain shut of ranking points then the only way Oosthuizen will get a chance to compete in The Masters in future years is if he manages to win The Open Championship again, something he did at St Andrews in 2010. 

The same scenario applies for someone like LIV Golf's Thomas Pieters, too. 

Even the big-hitting Belgian admitted himself that this week could be his "last ever week" at The Masters.

Oosthuizen has come remarkably close to winning other major championships having finished runner-up in six of them (2012 Masters, 2015 US Open, 2015 Open, 2017 US PGA, 2021 US PGA, 2021 US Open). 

Every winner of The Open has eligibility into the next five editions of The Masters, US PGA Championship and the US Open

The Open champion is also guaranteed entry to all future Open Championships. 

Oosthuizen would be able to play his way into the US Open via qualifying tournaments based all around the world. 

If you win The Masters, you can come back any year you like, which is why Oosthuizen's compatriot and fellow LIV Golf team member Charl Schwartzel won't face any issues having slipped on the famous Green Jacket back in 2011. 

Fellow LIV Golf players Watson, Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson can also rely on that exemption.

Other LIV Golf players such as Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau can also continue to ride their exemptions into the majors.

Smith won The Open last year, Koepka won the second of his US Opens in 2018 and the second of his US PGAs in 2019, and DeChambeau won the US Open in 2020. 

As it stands, Smith is sixth in the world but Koepka is 118th and DeChambeau is 155th.

Koepka will certainly pick up some much-needed points following the conclusion of The Masters this weekend. 

The four-time major champion is going in search of his first Green Jacket at Augusta.

Koepka currently holds the lead through three days of a weather-interrupted Masters.