By Calvin Ralph
It’s the beginning of April and it’s supposed to be spring in the Northeast. Clearly that hasn’t happened, but the heat is rising for those on the PGA Tour along with others looking for an invite to the Masters next week.
First lets look at the qualifications for an invite to the Masters.
- Masters Tournament Champions (lifetime)
- U.S. Open champions (five years)
- The Open champions (five years)
- PGA champions (five years)
- Winners of the Players Championship (three years)
- Current U.S. Amateur champion and runner-up
- Current British Amateur champion
- Current Asia-Pacific Amateur champion
- Current U.S. Amateur Public Links champion
- Current U.S. Mid-Amateur champion
- Current Latin America Amateur champion
- The first 12 players, including ties, in the previous year’s Masters Tournament
- The first 4 players, including ties, in the previous year’s U.S. Open
- The first 4 players, including ties, in the previous year’s Open Championship
- The first 4 players, including ties, in the previous year’s PGA Championship
- Winners of PGA Tour regular season and playoff events that award at least a full-point allocation for the season-ending Tour Championship, from previous Masters to current Masters.
- Those qualifying for the previous year’s season-ending Tour Championship (top 30 in FedEx Cup prior to tournament)
- The 50 leaders on the Final Official World Golf Ranking for the previous calendar year
- The 50 leaders on the Official World Golf Ranking published during the week prior to the current Masters Tournament
So let’s look at the 19th and last criteria for the field. The Top 50 players in the world going into this week were given invitations to the Masters. Guys like Luke Donald barely made the field at No. 50 in the world, along with Paul Casey at 48.
This was big because just two weeks ago at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Matt Every needed to defend his title to make the Masters. He jumped from 96th in the world to 40th to secure his spot with the win.
But for those who didn’t win, or have a good showing in the last two events, like Harris English, were left to sit home and watch one of their co-workers put on the green jacket. English’s T29 at Bay Hill and T30 at the Texas Open dropped him to 53rd in the world and out of the field next week.
At some point or another you have to feel bad for guys like English, who have tasted the success and have come up just short. It’s just heart breaking. Most of these guys have waited their whole lives to have this: playing professional golf and wanting to play in the Masters. And to come up just short, maybe instead of a 25th place finish a 26th place finish, a birdie away from making the Masters.
Anyone else not feel bad for Luke Donald? The guy was a former World No. 1 and now he’s barely making the Masters, are you kidding me? This guy really needs to find out what’s up with his game if we ever want to talk about him again with relevance and not just a fluke. Sadly, it is true.
The weeks leading up to the Masters leads to excitement, triumph, questions marks and, for those who just missed the cut, sadness.