The final push for the chance to qualify for one of the most storied golf tournaments in the world has officially begun. Those golfers on the bubble or just outside of the top 50 in the official world golf rankings still have a chance to make one last push to get a tee time at Augusta National golf course. The qualifiers, those that lead to the final field of golfers at Augusta, is interesting mix of past champions, amateur champions and those who find their way in with their current world golf ranking.
The Masters field is generally between 80-100 golfers and is made up of slew of former past champions, including those who won the last five of the other three major championships, the last three winners of the Players Championship, the winner and runner up of the last U.S. Amateur Championship, winners of the last British and Asian Championships, U.S Amateur Public Links Championships and the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. Whew!
Other than just welcoming past champions, the field includes the top 16 finishers from the previous year’s Masters tournament, the top eight from the last year’s U.S. Open, and the top four from the previous season’s British Open and PGA Championship. The qualifiers in this category also include those tied for the last available position that leads to an automatic bid.
The committee for the Masters tournament also rewards those golfers who can bring home the bacon. The gentleman who may or may not drive for show put can certainly put for dough. The top 30 finishers on the previous year’s PGA Tour money list are also welcome at Augusta.
Getting back to rewarding the winners, the field also includes the winner of all PGA Tour events from the previous year’s Masters tournament to the current year’s Masters, so long as those tournaments are awarded full FedEx cup points. This creates a “Masters year” of golf tournaments that can land you an automatic qualifier.
Now here is where it starts to get interesting. If one hasn’t qualified from the laundry list above, there is the automatic qualifiers given out to the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings from the previous year AND the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings published after the Houston Open. That means that for the golfers just inside and outside of the top 50, the next few months are very important if they hope play Augusta National Golf Club in April.