No person from the LIV Golf contingent at this yr’s Masters had been capable of slip into the Inexperienced Jacket, however a couple of gamers from the controversial Saudi-backed circuit left an indelible mark on the leaderboard at Augusta Nationwide on Sunday.
4-time main winner Brooks Koepka and three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson of San Diego, two of LIV’s greatest names, completed sharing second place, 4 photographs again of Spaniard Jon Rahm.
Patrick Reed, who gained the Masters in 2018, was an additional shot again with a share of fourth, whereas Joaquin Niemann was the subsequent greatest from LIV Golf as he ended up tied for sixteenth.
This yr’s Masters was the primary since LIV Golf launched final June, and 18 gamers from the profitable circuit, whose 54-hole tournaments with no cuts have raised speak about their competitiveness, teed it up within the yr’s first main.
Koepka mentioned no person ought to be shocked to see that he and his LIV Golf friends posed a menace at Augusta Nationwide, which is likely one of the sport’s greatest levels.
“We’re nonetheless the identical folks. So I imply, I do know if I’m wholesome, I do know I can compete. I don’t suppose any of the blokes that performed this occasion thought in any other case, both,” Koepka mentioned.
“When Phil performs good, we all know he’s going to compete,” he added. “P-Reed, the identical factor. I feel that’s simply manufactured by the media that we are able to’t compete anymore; that we’re washed up.”
Koepka was in the perfect place to ship the victory for LIV Golf as he started the ultimate spherical with a two-shot lead and had gained all three earlier majors when he had no less than a share of the 54-hole lead.
However the wheels fells off for Koepka, whose lead disappeared after 4 holes, and he was by no means capable of threaten the remainder of the way in which as he closed with a three-over-par 75.
Mickelson started the ultimate spherical 10 photographs behind Koepka however fired the low rating of the day, a seven-under-par 65, leaping into rivalry.
Though it proved too little too late for Mickelson, the six-time main mentioned he and the others from LIV Golf weren’t out to show a degree to different gamers within the area.
“I wouldn’t take a look at it like that,” Mickelson mentioned. “I’m very appreciative that we’re right here; that we’re capable of play within the majors. And I assumed it was thrilling that this match rose above all of it to have the perfect gamers on the earth right here and misplaced all of the pettiness; that was nice.”
Augusta Nationwide cleared the way in which final December for eligible gamers from LIV Golf to compete within the yr’s first main.
If not exempt, a participant’s standing on the earth rating is the important thing for them to achieve entry to the majors, and LIV Golf gamers have tumbled down the checklist as they await a ruling on their eligibility whereas competing on the Saudi-backed circuit.
Niemann was greater than happy together with his Masters efficiency as it can afford him some rating factors.
“Hopefully they determine one thing out, then let all the highest gamers be enjoying with the highest gamers within the majors,” Niemann mentioned. “I feel this week was vital simply in case. I imply, hopefully get a couple of factors.”