Shubhankar Sharma given special invite to the Masters


Shubhankar Sharman has accepted a 'special invitation' to the 2018 Masters, becoming the fourth player from India to compete at Augusta National

The 21-year-old, who led for two rounds of his first WGC event in Mexico last week, accepted the invitation to play in the first major championship of his career in April after being granted a special invitation from Augusta National.

Special invites to Augusta are reserved for international players, and are not given out often due to the specified qualification categories that determine the restricted number field. However, Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, said that Sharma's invitation is a consequence of his exceptional play over the past few months. 

"Golf is a global game, and throughout our history we have extended invitations to deserving international players not otherwise qualified," Ridley said.

"As his results have proven, Shubhankar Sharma is a remarkable young player, and we look forward to welcoming him to Augusta National in April."

Sharma, who is ranked No.66 in the World, has won twice in the past four months, at the Joburg Open in December and the Maybank Championship in February. He recently finished T-9 at the WGC-Mexico Championship, holding the lead after 36 and 54 holes. Now ranked No. 66 on the Official World Golf Ranking, the Masters will be the first major championship appearance of his career.

Sharma will become the fourth Indian player to compete in the Masters, following Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal and Anirban Lahiri.

Two qualification criteria remain active for this year's Tournament: winners of PGA Tour events that award a full-point allocation for the season-ending Tour Championship and the 50 leaders on the Official World Golf Ranking published during the week prior to the Masters.

Find out who has qualified, and who is yet to qualify, here.