It Had To Be - 54 (LIV) Golfers Make The Cut At The Masters

Fifty-four players will play the weekend at the 2023 Masters, which, ironically, is LIV in Roman numerals

Brooks Koepka Masters Leader
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wherever he is in the world right now, Greg Norman is probably having a little chuckle to himself. The LIV Golf CEO never misses an opportunity to big up his players – so be sure to keep an eye on the outspoken Australian's Twitter account, because the irony is, after 36 holes have finally been played here at the 2023 Masters, 54 players will be competing over the weekend.

For anyone who has been living under a rock this past year, LIV is the controversial Saudi-backed rival Tour that’s turned the world of golf on its head. As the second round of the 2023 Masters finally got completed in heavy rain on Saturday, 54 players made the cut – ironic given that 54 is LIV in Roman numerals (they play 54 holes).

There has been plenty of mud flying back and forth between players and supporters of every circuit around the world, with some of those playing on the traditional Tours, where 72-hole strokeplay is the norm, poking fun at the 54-hole tournaments and the fact that only 48 players compete. 

Norman has become very vocal in relentlessly backing his LIV Golf team, and the fact that 54 players remain at Augusta National probably won't be lost on him. In total, 18 LIV Golf players teed it up at the start of the week for the 87th Masters. With the top 50 and ties making it through, the first to miss out was Kevin Na, who withdrew after just nine holes of round one due to illness.

Phil Mickelson Masters Tear Up

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Louis Oosthuizen, who lost in a playoff to Bubba Watson in 2012, joined Na, pulling out with just one hole of round two remaining, citing injury. Of the remaining 16, another four failed to make the cut, which fell at three over. Among them were two previous Masters champions in Watson and Sergio Garcia. Meanwhile, Jason Kokrak and Bryson DeChambeau went home early.

At the other end of the leaderboard, LIV golfer Brooks Koepka stormed into the halfway lead with two classy rounds (65 and 67) to give him a two-shot advantage over Spain’s Jon Rahm heading into the third round.

Greg Norman, who did not receive an invitation to The Masters, said the LIV contingent would storm the final green if one of them triumphed this week, and with Koepka in prime position to add to his Major haul of four, that remains a very real possibility.

Phil Mickelson, who boldly predicted that he’s “close to going on a tear” after the conclusion of his second round, is the next best-placed LIV golfer on the Masters leaderboard at four-under-par, the same score as fellow LIV player, Joaquin Niemann. In total, 12 LIV players made the Masters cut.

Michael Weston
Contributing editor

Michael has been with Golf Monthly since 2008. As a multimedia journalist, he has also worked for The Football Association, where he created content to support the men's European Championships, The FA Cup, London 2012, and FA Women's Super League. As content editor at Foremost Golf, Michael worked closely with golf's biggest equipment manufacturers, and has developed an in-depth knowledge of this side of the industry. He's now a regular contributor, covering instruction, equipment and feature content. Michael has interviewed many of the game's biggest stars, including six world number ones, and has attended and reported on many Major Championships and Ryder Cups. He's a member of Formby Golf Club.