Masters Countdown: The Field


Russell Henley won the Shell Houston Open to secure the final qualifying spot for the Masters, taking the official number of entrants to this years major up to 94.

The deadline to qualify by order of merit was March 27, and thanks to their performances at the WGC Dell Match Play, four players secured their last-minute place in to the field. 

Ross Fisher and Hideto Tanihara made impressive moves throughout the tournament to finish inside the World’s top 50, while Tommy Fleetwood and Jeunghun Wang were all but confirmed until that Monday due to performances throughout the season.

The previous week Marc Leishman became the latest person to secure his place in the field at Augusta National with his thrilling one-shot victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Adam Hadwin grabbed another spot the week before at the Valspar Championship, which took the the total number of rookies with an invite up to 17.

The Masters traditionally likes to limit its field sizes to under 100 players (last year was 89), and this year 94 golfers will tee it up at Augusta National on Thursday. Until April 1st and before Henley qualified, the number was 94 but then Tiger Woods announced he would not be playing thanks to on-going back problems

A total of 19 first-time participants will play in this year’s Masters from April 6-9, including all five amateurs who have qualified.

The Masters Qualifiers

Masters final field

Who hasn’t qualified for The Masters?

Luke Donald: The former World No.1 is currently 93rd in the World rankings. Last year he took to Instagram to explain the disappointent he felt about not being there, and now he’ll miss out for the second year in a row. 

Kevin Streelman: Streelman won the Par-3 competition in 2015, but two years later he finds himself without an invitation to be part of the field. A mixed bag of results last year means he’s dropped to 129 in the World rankings, and wasn’t able to produce a winning performance in Houston so will miss out on the year’s first major.

D.A Points: The winner of the Puerto Rico Open was unfortunate that the event he triumphed at doesn’t count as automatic qualification for the Masters. He did propel himself from World No. 634 to 254, so there’s a slight consolation – but he wasn’t able to win back-to-back to book himself a place in the field at Augusta.

Bryson DeChambeau: The low amatuer from last year’s Masters has had a mixed transition from amatuer to professional. It’s been a difficult start to the year for Dechambeau, who has hit headlines for his disagreements with the USGA regarding his attempt to introduce an unconventional putting style. He’s gone back to a normal set-up, but his game has only just started to improve. Until his T2 finish at the Peurto Rico Open he had only made one cut since January, so whilst he seems to have found his form at last -it was just a a little too late. 

Graeme McDowell & Ian Poulter: The Ryder Cup stalwarts are World No. 83 and 204 respectively, and having failed to qualify will miss out on this year. For McDowell, it will be the first time he hasn’t been at Augusta since 2008, while Poulter has been there every year since 2006. 

Smylie Kaufman: Despite being part of the final pairing of the 2016 Masters, Smylie Kaufman shot nine-over-par and ended up tied for 29th, consequently missing out on automatic qualification to this years event. Currently he sits at number 162 in the World rankings, and having missed the cut in Houston he wasn’t able to guarantee his spot alongside the rest of the SB2K16 squad (Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler). 

Wesley Bryan: Only in his first year on the PGA Tour, he has had three top 10 finishes in his last five events, and is currently at No.73 in the World rankings. He wasn’t in the field at the Houston Open so won’t be able to earn an invite this year, but he’s certainly one to watch.

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