LIV Golf's Joaquin Niemann Among Three Players To Accept Special Invite To The Masters

Joaquin Niemann will tee it up at Augusta National, along with Thorbjorn Olesen and Ryo Hisatsune

Joaquin Niemann at the Dubai Desert Classic in January
Joaquin Niemann is one of three players who has accepted a special invite to The Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

LIV golfer Joaquin Niemann is one of three players who have accepted special invites to the 2024 Masters. The Chilean will take up his place at the Augusta National Major alongside Dane Thorbjorn Olesen and Japanese star Ryo Hisatsune.

Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said: “The Masters Tournament has a long-standing tradition of inviting leading international players who are not otherwise qualified. 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.”

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Niemann’s only route to qualifying without the invite would have been via a place in the world’s top 50 the week before the event. However, he is currently some way short of that threshold at World No.81.

In order to climb the rankings sufficiently before April’s tournament, Niemann would need to play in events other than those with LIV Golf, which is unable to offer world ranking points. That would have been next to impossible given the busy LIV Golf schedule, with three tournaments to come in Jeddah, Hong Kong and Miami before The Masters.

Niemann got his LIV Golf season off to the best possible start with victory at the Mayakoba event after a thrilling playoff with Sergio Garcia. That came on the same weekend that Wyndham Clark earned the full allocation of world ranking points for his win at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. That was despite the PGA Tour event being reduced to the same 54 holes as LIV Golf tournaments due to bad weather.

Joaquin Niemann poses with the trophy after his LIV Golf Mayakoba victory

Joaquin Niemann won the first LIV Golf event of the season

(Image credit: Getty Images)

That led to calls, including from LIV Golf analyst Jim Foltz, that it was time for the circuit’s players to be given another route to the Majors. The invite removes the issue for Niemann, at least for this year, and he can now look forward to competing in both that and The Open after his qualification for the Royal Troon event thanks to his win at the Australian Open in December.

Like Niemann, Olesen and Hisatsune currently fall beneath the top 50 needed to guarantee qualification. Olesen would have had the best chance of reaching the event as he is 59th in the rankings, helped by victory at the DP World Tour event, the Ras Al Khaimah Championship in January.

Thorbjorn Olesen with the Ras Al Khaimah Championship trophy

Thorbjorn Olesen won January's Ras Al Khaimah Championship

(Image credit: Getty Images)

As for Hisatsune, he is ranked 78th, and was named DP World Tour Rookie of the Year in 2023, while he also won last year’s Cazoo Open de France. At the end of the season, both he and Olesen were among 10 DP World Tour players to earn PGA Tour cards for their efforts.

Each of the three players will be keen to impress at one of the most prestigious events on the calendar. Niemann has played in the last three editions of The Masters, and achieved a career-best Major finish in 2023 with a T16.

Ryo Hisatsune during the Farmers Insurance Open

Ryo Hisatsune was named 2023 DP World Tour Rookie of the Year

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Olesen, who finished T6 in the 2013 edition, will be making his first Augusta National appearance since 2019. Meanwhile, the tournament will mark Hisatsune’s maiden Major start.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.