With some new players reaching the top 50 in The Official World Golf Rankings(OWGR), and the wrap-around schedule, the folks at The Masters will have a rather large field in April. This brings up the possibility that they(The Masters) will approach or exceed the 100 player field they are comfortable with. There are currently 90 players qualified and there could be more to come as the regular schedule gets underway next month.
The wrap-around schedule, and the large number of first-time winners on both the PGA Tour, and European Tours has contributed to the increase. Since the inception of the FedEx Cup point system back in 2007, The Masters has welcomed winners of sancioned events. That includes tournaments on the wrap-around schedule where points were issued.
The European Tour has sanctioned some fall events, making one of them a WGC event that awards both, FedEx Cup points and Race To Dubai points.
After the final 2013 World Rankings were issued Monday, 14 players were immediately added to the roster. Hideki Matsuyama, Thomas Bjorn, Jamie Donaldson, Victor Dubuisson, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Francesco Molinari, Rickie Fowler, Matteo Manassero, David Lynn, Thongchai Jaidee, Peter Hanson, Joost Luiten and Branden Grace.
This brings the current total for players teeing it up in April to 90. There are more spots available for early first-time winners during the spring schedule excluding of course, the Puerto Rico Open. This could push the total to the 100 player mark.
“I’m ecstatic I qualified for the Masters through my play for this year,” Matsuyama said through an interpreter in October, when it was clear he would be in the top 50.
He won four times this year on the Japan Golf Tour and had a pair of top 10s in the majors.
Fowler was the only American of the 14 from the world ranking, though two other players (Peter Hanson, David Lynn) were PGA Tour members, who have more options available to them during the year.
The Masters has the smallest field of all of the majors, and wants to keep the field at 100 players or below if possible. 2014 will be the third time in four years that the field has exceeded 90 players. There were 99 players in the 2011, and the most that have ever competed was 103 in 1966.
I love it when new blood makes it to this tournament. It is without doubt, the most popular tournament of the year, be it regular tournament, or major. The beauty, grandeur, and tradition of the Masters is unsurpassed through the year by anything other than the Super Bowl.
With some luck, we will have a bunch of new first-time winners in the spring session, and push the number well over that 100 player mark.
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