I’m more excited for the 2023 Masters than I’ve been for a golf tournament in a long time — not only because the big three of Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, and Jon Rahm are all at the peak of their powers, but also because of the dynamic between the PGA Tour stars and the LIV Golf defectors.
Eighteen players from the Saudi-backed golf tour will be crashing the party at Augusta National Golf Club this year, and a few of them have a realistic shot at walking away with a green jacket over their shoulders. With Masters week only a few days away, let’s check in on which LIV Golf players have qualified for the 2023 Masters.
The 18 LIV Golf players who have qualified for the 2023 Masters
Even though most of the LIV Golf defectors have fallen outside the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, 18 of them have already qualified for the 2023 Masters. LIV Golf members currently make up about 20% of the 89-man field at Augusta National.
Let’s go through every LIV Golf qualifier and break down how they punched their ticket to the Masters this year.
Past Masters champions
- Dustin Johnson
- Sergio Garcia
- Phil Mickelson
- Patrick Reed
- Charl Schwartzel
- Bubba Watson
U.S. Open champions (2018-2022)
- Bryson DeChambeau
- Brooks Koepka
British Open champions (2018-2022)
Top-four finish at the 2022 PGA Championship
Qualified for the 2022 Tour Championship
- Joaquin Niemann
- Talor Gooch
Top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking at the end of 2022
- Abraham Ancer
- Jason Kokrak
- Kevin Na
- Louis Oosthuizen
- Thomas Pieters
- Harold Varner III
Which LIV Golf players can realistically win the Masters?
LIV Golf is sending 18 players to Augusta National this year, but which ones actually stand a chance at winning a green jacket?
Well, let’s start with the odds board. According to FanDuel, Cameron Smith is the most likely Masters winner among the LIV Golf defectors. He’s currently priced at +2100 to win, which is fifth on the odds board behind only Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, and Jordan Spieth. Then comes Dustin Johnson at +3200, Brooks Koepka at +7500, and Joaquin Niemann also at +7500.
The only other player priced below 100-1 is Patrick Reed at +9000. Sportsbooks aren’t giving Bryson DeChambeau, Louis Oosthuizen, and Mito Pereira much of a chance at Augusta. And forget about Phil Mickelson, who’s priced at 280-1 alongside Ryan Fox and Adrian Meronk.
I believe Smith and Johnson are the only legitimate contenders to win the 2023 Masters, but they still need to play flawless golf to outclass the best the PGA Tour has to offer.