dec24 Mastersfield


With the final world rankings for 2007 published today (Monday), Masters invitations will be in the mail soon.

Justin Rose will be getting one, but Colin Montgomerie won't... yet!

The Masters takes the top 50 from the world ranking at the end of 2007, but will also take any players in the top 50 at the end of March. Montgomerie is currently 57th.

Others due to get an invite include: Henrik Stenson, Trevor Immelman, Lee Westwood, Toru Taniguchi, Nick O'Hern, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Shingo Katayama, Robert Karlsson, Richard Sterne, Soren Hansen and Anders Hansen.

There are sure to be some complaints about some of the international players getting into the Masters, especially Anders Hansen.

He took up PGA Tour membership this year, and in 17 starts, he made only 10 cuts and failed to record a top 10. But he finished the year at No. 50 from his victory in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, where Hansen beat the likes of Angel Cabrera and Justin Rose, and two other top 5s on the European Tour.

With 82 players already qualified (and expected to compete), the field likely will be around 90 to 95, just the size the Masters likes.

One thing that will be missing is a full crop of amateurs. Colt Knost won the U.S. Amateur Public Links and the U.S. Amateur, but gave up his spot in the Masters when he turned pro. Knost then failed to secure even a Nationwide Tour card at Q-school.

That leaves three amateurs at the Masters, the fewest since there were three in 1942, the year before the Masters took a three-year break because of World War II.

There will be two Watsons - past champion Tom Watson and big-hitting Bubba Watson. There will be two Hansens - Soren and Anders, both from Denmark, no relation.

The 72nd Masters is held April 10-13. The defending champion is Zach Johnson, with Tiger Woods again the favorite to capture his fifth green jacket.