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Brooks Koepka and another major championship fixture are the latest LIV players to hit this sad OWGR milestone

golfdigestme.com logo golfdigestme.com 06/12/2022 Golf Digest Middle East
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Jonathan Ferrey/LIV Golf 

By Alex Myers

Adrian Meronk’s win at the 2022 Australian Open vaulted the Polish golfer to No. 52 in the latest Official World Golf Ranking. And if projections from Twitter OWGR guru Mosferatu hold true, Meronk will actually climb inside the top 50 by the final OWGR ranking of 2022, all but locking up his first Masters invite for April (assuming Augusta National continues to invite the top 50 in the year end ranking). It also will help knock out a familiar face from that OWGR status.

Meronk’s victory Down Under means Brooks Koepka is now projected to finish the year above that important threshold. And that it’s the first time Koepka will be out of the top 50 since he first moved in more than eight years ago.

Of course, this is nothing new with LIV Golf events still not eligible for world ranking points, and LIV golfers subsequently tumbling down the OWGR ranks. Just last week Sergio Garcia fell out of the top 100 for the first time since 1999. The new tour has been fighting for OWGR status, but has been denied thus far, even after partnering with the existing MENA Tour.

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Fortunately for Koepka, this doesn’t mean much beyond personal pride. Thanks to his most recent major win, the 2019 PGA Championship, he is exempt for Open Championship through 2023 and the Masters through 2024. And he has a lifetime exemption for the PGA and a 10-year- exemption (through 2028) for the U.S. Open as a past champ. But another golfer who has been a fixture on major championship leaderboards in recent years isn’t so fortunate.

That would be Louis Oosthuizen, who fell from No. 50 to No. 51 on Monday. The South African has a exemption through age 60 into the Open Championship as the 2010 winner, but now isn’t qualified for any of the other three majors in 2023. He is playing in this week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship, though, so he still has a chance to end the year inside the top 50.

Oosthuizen had a rough year in the majors last year, but finished in the top three in four of five majors starting with the 2020 U.S. Open. He famously poked fun at himself for so many close calls with a lip-syncing video in 2017 after completing the career Grand Slam—of runner-ups.

Other LIV notables to drop in the OWGR include Dustin Johnson, who is down to No. 40, and Kevin Na, down to No. 47. Cameron Smith remained at No. 3 thanks in part to his recent Australian PGA win, but has said not being able to climb to No. 1 (unless he adds more OWGR-sanctioned events to his schedule) “is a bit of a pain in the bum.” On the bright side for the Aussie, he’s into every major through at least 2027 following his Open Championship win in July.

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