Jon Rahm and Dustin Johnson suffer unwanted blow after LIV Golf stars miss golden opportunity

At the Masters last week, LIV Golf stars had the opportunity to gain some much-needed world ranking points, but two of their biggest names, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm, did not take advantage of the opportunity.

After last week’s Masters, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm both saw a decline in their ranking in the Official World Golf Ranking—a wasted opportunity for the LIV Golf stars.

As past champions, Rahm and Johnson were back in action at Augusta National, with Rahm defending the title he had won the previous year. But despite having a unique chance to earn some word ranking points, neither was able to leave their mark on the occasion. LIV, having been turned down by the ranking system in October of last year, is still holding events without OWGR points available.

Those who play golf on the Saudi-backed series have fallen in the world rankings after competing without any points available. Despite having only recently switched for the 2024 season, Rahm is still the highest-ranked player in the division.

The 2023 Green Jacket winner, who had recently faced competition from Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler for the top spot, arrived in Augusta last week ranked third in the world. Rahm had been in the top three since January 2023, but he has now dropped to fourth place in the breakaway league after three months.

It was not to be for the former world No. 1 who had every intention of catching up to Scheffler and McIlroy going into the Masters. The star of the European Ryder Cup had a lackluster title defense, finishing in a tie for 45th place with a week’s total of nine over par.

Rahm lost ground to Xander Schauffele in the rankings as a result, and because of his allegiance to LIV, he will have to wait until the PGA Championship in May to have another opportunity to finish in the top three. In an unexpected admission, Rahm said he was not feeling “comfortable” with his swing, which led to his worst Augusta performance to date.

Even worse was the situation for fellow former champion and LIV star Johnson, who had a forgettable first two rounds of play at the Masters before missing the 36-hole cut for just the third time in his career. The 4Aces captain opened play last Thursday with a six-over-par 78, but he shot even worse the following day.

After 36 holes, the American was sitting at 13 over par, seven shots short of the cut. Johnson has been a part of the LIV setup since June 2022, so he has experienced the consequences of the OWGR snub to a greater extent than Rahm. A world away from his previous glory in 336th place, the former world No. 1 was headed to the first major of the year.

Naturally, Johnson’s situation worsened after his missed cut, as he dropped to 343rd on the list. Similar to Rahm, the American sensation will have an opportunity to catch up at the PGA Championship next month. His 2020 Masters victory qualifies him to play in the four major events through 2025.

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