Joaquin Niemann is guaranteed at least two major starts this year after qualifying for The Open and receiving a special invitation for the Masters

LIV golfer Joaquin Niemann receives Masters invitation

Joaquin Niemann is set to become the first LIV golfer to play in one of the four majors by special invitation after Augusta National included him among three discretionary picks for the Masters.

Niemann, 25, has joined Japan’s Ryo Hisatsune, the DP World Tour’s rookie of the year, and Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen in being invited to play at Augusta in April.

After beating Sergio Garcia in a play-off at LIV Golf Mexico three weeks ago, Niemann had expressed concern that he might miss out on the majors after seeing his world ranking drop from a career high 18 to its current position of 81 – well outside the top 50 cut-off point for automatic qualification for the Masters.

Although LIV Golf events receive no world ranking points, Niemann won the Australian Open in December – which guaranteed his place in the Open Championship at Troon this summer – and his willingness to play in tournaments outside LIV Golf in an effort to gain ranking points, including a recent fourth place finish on the DP World Tour in Dubai, seems to have been enough to attract the attention of the Masters’ committee.

“The Masters tournament has a long-standing tradition of inviting leading international players who are not otherwise qualified,” said Fred Ridley, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club. “Today’s announcement represents the tournament’s continued commitment towards developing interest in the game of golf across the world. We look forward to welcoming each player to Augusta National this spring.”

Augusta National typically awards the special invitation to players who do not have the same access as PGA Tour players, who can qualify through winning or getting to the Tour Championship.

The invitations bring the current Masters field to 83 players. The only other way for players to now qualify is to win one of the seven PGA Tour events before the Masters or to climb into the world’s top 50 before April.