Talor Gooch still hoping for major spot after Masters told they “need” LIV Golf champ

Although Talor Gooch won the individual 2023 title on LIV Golf last month, his decline in the world rankings means that the American will not be able to compete in any of the four majors in 2024.

With the support of former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, LIV Golf champion Talor Gooch has revealed that he is still hoping to find a way into the major championships of the upcoming year.

Before being named the league’s individual champion, Gooch had a stellar season on the breakaway circuit, winning three races in Adelaide, Singapore, and Andalucia. The American’s staggering £14.7 million winning bonus brought his earnings to £30.6 million for the year, making him the highest paid professional golfer in 2023.

Surprisingly, Gooch is not allowed to play in any of the four majors in 2024. Despite his stellar run of form, the 31-year-old is still falling in the world rankings.

LIV Golf has not yet received any ranking points from the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR), so Gooch is not the only one in this regard. There were several calls for the people in charge of golf’s four majors to devise a path that would enable the breakaway league’s most in-form players to compete following LIV’s most recent world ranking rejection in October.

The 2020 U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau spearheaded the calls, arguing that the top 12 finishers in LIV should be granted entry into the main events; however, for the time being, players like Gooch will have to watch from home. The LIV champion is still looking for a path down Magnolia Lane, with just five months until the first major of the year at Augusta National.

Gooch, who was competing last week at the Hong Kong Open on the Asian Tour’s International Series, said to Mirror Sport, “We will see what they [those in charge of the major championships] all decide.” “I hope to be at the majors next year, you know.”

A week prior, McDowell, Gooch’s fellow LIV star, argued in favor of the 2023 champion, telling the Masters and Open Championship organizers that they “need” to have the American in their 2024 lineups. The Northern Irishman further asserted that the RangeGoats star was a “top-25” player in the midst of his scorching form, even though he was languishing outside the top 200 in the world.

For Gooch, having the support of a major champion and fellow player was a “honour.” “When a major champion and a great player like Graeme says that, it is an honor,” he continued. But as time runs out, the American knows he needs more than just his peers’ backing to secure a prominent position.

Gooch continued, “We all know that there are players in the game who deserve to be in the majors.” Thus, it is nice when other guys come around to take care of me. Regretfully, that has no effect, so we’ll have to wait and see what they decide.”

Alongside his impressive run on the breakaway league in 2023 Gooch played in three of the four majors, with his best finishing coming in April’s Masters. The American finished in a tie for 34th at Augusta, but failed to stake his claim elsewhere on the big stage.

Either side of failing to qualify for the U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club, Gooch missed the cut at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill and on the Royal Liverpool links at July’s Open Championship. Despite remaining hopeful Gooch and his fellow LIV stars were dealt a blow late last month, after Augusta chariman Fred Ridley played down the chances of the qualifying process being changed ahead of next April’s event.

He did however hint that the door could well be opened further down the line for those who fall out of the current exemption list. “While we do not at this time anticipate making any changes in 2024, you know, we do always look at them and we will continue to do that,” Ridley said at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.

“I would just answer by saying that, you know, that our qualifications are very much dynamic, and we adjust to what we feel is the best interests of the tournament representing the best players in the world, so we always look at that.”

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