14 added to Masters field through world ranking
Augusta National added 14 players to the field for the Masters
when the final world ranking of the year was published Monday.
That brings the field to 90 players who are expected to compete
April 10-13, and again raises the possibility of the Masters
exceeding 100 players for the first time in nearly 50 years.
Augusta National has the smallest field of the four majors and
prefers to keep it under 100 to enhance the overall experience at
This is the third time in the last four years that the field was
at least 90 players going into a new calendar year. There were 99
players for the 2011 Masters, the most since 103 players competed
Those who qualified by being in the top 50 of the final ranking
were 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.
Players can still qualify by winning a PGA Tour event (except
for the Puerto Rico Open) or being in the top 50 on March 30, a
full week before the Masters.
Matsuyama qualified at No. 23. It will be his third appearance
at the Masters, and his first as a pro. Matsuyama was a two-time
winner of the Asia-Pacific Amateur, which awards an exemption to
the Masters. He made the cut both times as an amateur.
”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
The Masters changed the criteria for the 2014 tournament, though
that appears to have little bearing on the number of qualified
players. Because the PGA Tour went to a wraparound season (October
through September), the Masters awarded spots to the winners of
tournaments held in the fall. Jimmy Walker, Ryan Moore and Chris
Kirk qualified by winning those events. The other winners of fall
events – Webb Simpson, Dustin Johnson and Harris English –
previously were eligible for the Masters.
Augusta National eliminated the category for top 30 on the money
list, though that didn’t keep out any player who qualified.
The club now takes the top 12 and ties from the previous Masters
(instead of the top 16) and the top four and ties from the U.S.
Open (instead of the top eight). That eliminated only one player –
David Toms – who would have been eligible under the previous
category. The others would have made it through other criteria.
When the FedEx Cup was created in 2007, Augusta National
returned to its practice of inviting PGA Tour winners (at events
that offered full FedEx Cup points). Since then, the largest
increase in the field from January until the Masters was the
addition of 11 players for this year’s tournament.