LIV golfer Joaquin Niemann wants unified rankings as he prepares for 2024 Masters

Home » LIV golfer Joaquin Niemann wants unified rankings as he prepares for 2024 Masters

LIV golfer Joaquin Niemann says the breakaway tour needs to be recognised in the official world rankings because the current system can be “a lie”.

With LIV events not given ranking points, Chile’s Niemann is 91st in the world yet among the favourites to win the Masters at Augusta on Sunday.

He won two of LIV’s first three events in 2024, continuing his form having won the Australian Open in December.

“Right now the game is divided and it is not helping,” Niemann said.

“It is hard to get a ranking system where everyone is happy.”

Niemann, 25, has been given a special invitation to play at the Masters, which begins at Augusta National on Thursday and concludes on Sunday.

The Saudi-backed LIV league has been denied accreditation by the Official World Golf Ranking, with LIV commissioner Greg Norman telling its players last month the application to join had been withdrawn.

Many of the big names which left the PGA Tour have slipped down the rankings, with Jon Rahm, Tyrrell Hatton and Brooks Koepka being the only LIV players to feature in the OWGR’s top 50.

“I feel [a unified system] is something which has to happen and will happen over time,” Niemann told golf correspondent Iain Carter at the recent LIV event in Miami.

“It could be sooner or later, I don’t know. Hopefully it will happen soon. I feel like the world ranking is a lie for a few players.”

As well as his success in the LIV events, Niemann has earned top-five finishes in the past four tournaments he has played on the DP World Tour and the Asian Tour.

LIV players are only able to improve their world ranking, which is one of the factors used to determine eligibility for major championships, through DP World Tour events, the Asian Tour or other satellite tours.

Niemann played two ranking events in Australia before travelling to tournaments in Dubai and Oman, and his form prompted Masters organisers to reward him with an invitation.

Spain’s Sergio Garcia, who defected to LIV in 2022, says the decision showed golf’s major tournaments “know what they are doing”.

“They can see what is going on and know Joaquin, for example, is not the 91st player in the world,” Garcia, who won his sole major at Augusta in 2017, told Sport.

“They know he is probably top 10, or top 15 at worst, and that is why he gets an invite to play at the Masters.

“The majors are realising all those things and doing whatever they think is the best for them to have the best players possible competing in their events.”

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