LIV Golf star receives shock (!) invite to 2024 Masters

LIV Golf pro Joaquin Niemann is one of three players to have received a special invitation to compete in this year's Masters at Augusta National.

LIV Golf star receives shock (!) invite to 2024 Masters

Joaquin Niemann is one of three players to have received a special invitation to compete at this year's Masters

The Chilean's appearance at Augusta National this year was in doubt after he joined LIV Golf in 2022 for a reported $100m fee. 

Niemann was a rising star on the PGA Tour when he decided to bolt for the riches of the Saudi Arabia-backed tour. 

He was comfortably inside the OWGR's top 50 and therefore it didn't look like he was going to struggle with major championship qualification. 

But he has since fallen to 81st in the rankings and faced the prospect of being frozen out of the majors altogether. 

The 25-year-old is arguably one of LIV's best players given his victory at their curtain-raiser in Mayakoba, Mexico, a few weeks ago. 

In the immediate aftermath of that playoff win over Sergio Garcia, Niemann complained about not being able to compete in the majors. 

In a bizarre exchange with on-course reporter Dom Boulet, Niemann was told: "You're going to get in." The immediate question was how? 

Niemann has already qualified for this year's Open after winning the Australian Open on the DP World Tour. 

But he needed to rise up the OWGR to get into the Masters field. It was a prospect that appeared almost impossible given his LIV commitments. 

However, Augusta National chiefs have decided to offer Niemann a spot. There was no mention of LIV in the press release confirming his inclusion. 

In a statement, Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said: 

"The Masters Tournament has a longstanding tradition of inviting leading international players who are not otherwise qualified
"Today's announcement represents the Tournament's continued commitment toward developing interest in the game of golf across the world.
"We look forward to welcoming each player to Augusta National this spring."

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The two other players who have been invited to play in the Masters this year are Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen and PGA Tour rookie Ryo Hisatsune

Olesen is now back inside the top 60 of the OWGR following his recent DP World Tour victory at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship. 

His career stalled after he was charged and later cleared of sexually assaulting a woman on a flight in 2019

Histatsune is the reigning rookie of the year on the DP World Tour. He will be making his Masters debut. 

Niemann, Hisatsune and Olesen's inclusion into this year's Masters takes the field to 83 competitors. 

This is a breaking news story. More follows.

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