South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen leads the way at the halfway point of The Open
Oosthuizen is playing at the International Series Oman this week Image Credit: Reuters

Louis Oosthuizen believes Augusta National is too long for his game now, with the LIV golfer set to miss out on a trip to the Masters Tournament for the first time since 2008 when the 88th edition gets underway in April.

The South African, who is playing at this week’s International Series Oman, will not be driving up Magnolia Lane in April due to being ranked 137th in the Official World Golf Ranking, with only the top 50 are guaranteed a spot.

Other exemptions into golf's most exclusive field include previous winners of the tournament, the top 12 from last year’s event and the last three Players Championship winners among other routes, but Oosthuizen doesn’t fit into any of those categories.

“When I made the decision to join LIV Golf, I knew it was inevitable,” said Oosthuzien when I put to him this would the first time he has missed out on the Masters since 2008.

“I knew the day would come where I wasn’t able to play a tournament like Augusta. To be honest with you, that golf course is so long right now that I'm struggling around it. There’s more seven woods and three irons into par 4s there than was in 2009 and 2010.

“I'll miss it because it's an unbelievable experience. It's a great golf course, a great tournament, but I honestly think the golf course is a little bit too long for me now anyway.”

In recent years, the club has lengthened the course to combat the game’s big hitters, while this year’s edition will see the tee box on the par-5 2nd hole positioned 10 yards further back and to the golfer’s left. The hole will measure 585 yards, which is 15 yards longer than the second-longest hole, No. 8.

The Masters returns for its 88th edition in April Image Credit: AFP

Oosthuizen will be joined in this week’s field at Al Mouj Golf by fellow LIV Golf stars Branden Grace, David Puig and Joaquín Niemann in a bid to bank some vital World Ranking points at the Asian Tour event to move up the rankings and into Major Championship contention.

LIV Golf’s bid to have players earn points was unanimously rejected by the OWGR last October due to concerns about the Saudi-backed circuit’s format.

The OWGR Chair, Peter Dawson, said the board committee felt LIV Golf’s tournament format – 54-hole, no-cut events for 48 players – was an issue but added that it was one that was capable of being managed through an “appropriate mathematical formula”.

“I sort of joined LIV Golf knowing that we weren’t going to get any World Ranking points, if you can even call it the World Rankings anymore,” added Oosthuizen.

“I made my peace with not playing in the Majors, fortunately I can still play The Open, but it’s a shame to see great players not getting what they deserve and hopefully they (OWGR) can do something quickly about it.

“I think the whole system needs to change completely. If they don’t want to give us World Ranking points on LIV Golf then they should change the system where they give spots to Majors on each tour around the world or something like that.

“I’m surprised those (OWGR) guys have a lot more experience than me, sitting on boards and doing their things, that I can’t believe there’s no solution to it.”