One of the biggest question marks leading up to the Masters surrounded the group of PGA Tour defectors teeing it up in the first major of the year. With fewer competitive reps competing on the LIV Golf circuit, many questioned how they would hold up at Augusta National.
Seventy-two holes later, we have our answer. Of the 18 players who teed it up this week, 12 made the cut, with three finishers inside the top 10.
“We’re still the same people,” Brooks Koepka said after finishing T2. “I know if I’m healthy, I know I can compete. I don’t think any of the guys that played this event thought otherwise, either. When Phil plays good, we know he’s going to compete. Patrick Reed, the same thing. I think that’s just manufactured by the media that we can’t compete anymore; that we are washed up.”
It’s clear that the top LIV players are anything but washed up. Even if they’re not competing against the PGA Tour’s best each week, they still have plenty of game.
Check out a full breakdown of each LIV player’s performance at Augusta National below.
Scores: 65-67-73-75 (-8)
How it happened: Koepka came out of the gates hot, and through 36 holes, it looked like he might run away with the title. The weekend proved a bit more difficult for the four-time major winner, though, as he couldn’t sustain his momentum and finished four back of Jon Rahm’s winning total. Still, after two years of battling health issues, this was a big step back in Koepka’s return to the top.
Scores: 71-69-75-65 (-8)
How it happened: This performance was vintage Phil Mickelson. Even after not being a factor in any majors since his unlikely PGA Championship victory at Kiawah, Mickelson showed us he still has plenty left in the tank. After a disappointing 75 in Round 3, Mickelson came back for the final round and posted the round of the day as he birdied his final two holes for a tidy 65. He ultimately came up short of catching Rahm, but it was a hell of a performance as he became the oldest player ever to post a top-five finish at Augusta.
Scores: 71-70-72-68 (-7)
How it happened: Reed flew a bit under the radar all week despite being on the first page of the leaderboard throughout. The T4 is his best result at Augusta since winning in 2018, and his third top-10 finish in the Masters over the last four years.
Scores: 71-69-74-72 (-2)
How it happened: Niemann took advantage of the nice weather early in the week as he got into red numbers heading into the weekend, but he got stuck in neutral over the final 36. His two-over total on the weekend kept him from ever becoming a serious factor.
Harold Varner III
Scores: 72-71-76-70 (+1)
How it happened: It was a bit of an uneven performance for Varner, with a third-round 76 weighing him down, but overall it was a promising week. He’s now finished inside the top 30 in both of his appearances at the Masters.
Scores: 70-72-75-75 (+4)
How it happened: It was a disappointing week at the Masters for Smith. In his first major appearance since winning the Open Championship last summer, Smith turned in just one round under par and never became a factor.
Scores: 72-74-73-73 (+4)
How it happened: Gooch could not replicate the success of his Masters debut last year (T14) as he failed to break par in any of the four rounds. Making the cut here is never easy, though, and he’s now 2/2 in his career.
Scores: 72-71-74-76 (+5)
How it happened: Ancer was in red numbers through 36 holes, but he couldn’t sustain the momentum on the weekend. He’s still searching for his first top 10 at Augusta.
Scores: 74-70-77-73 (+6)
How it happened: Pereira made the cut in his Masters debut as he shot two-under 70 on Friday to sneak inside the number.
Scores: 74-73-72-77 (+8)
How it happened: Pieters made the cut on the number, but he couldn’t take advantage over the weekend. The T48 finish is his first made cut at the Masters since finishing T4 in 2017.
Scores: 71-72-78-75 (+8)
How it happened: Johnson was never able to find his game this week as he broke par in just one round and never threatened the leaders. He’s yet to record a top 10 finish at Augusta since his win in 2020.
Scores: 74-73-73-77 (+9)
How it happened: Schwartzel failed to break par all week and never made himself much of a factor.
Missed the cut