So–It’s Masters time again and the field seems to be packed with champions, past and future, that you’ve heard of before and although they’re just getting started (“The Masters starts on the back 9 on Sunday”) you might be wondering what it actually takes to get to The Masters, to get one of those very few invitations that the best of the best get. Well, we here at the Media Bunker were wondering the same thing. The Masters has a reputation as the best run golf tournament in the world and, as a Major, it’s one of the most important(it’s also the first major of the year and often sets the tone for the competitive year). It’s got another huge advantage because it’s played in the same place, on the same course, every year and so it is, literally, a “tradition unlike any other”.
What does it take to be a part of that tradition? We did some research and here’s what we found:
First, The Masters does not have a set number of entries. The entry list flexes to accommodate the entrants and their qualifications. You’ll see why when you look at what it takes to qualify for The Masters.
- Be a previous Masters winner. This is the best option because in addition to a Green Jacket, a seat at the Champion’s Dinner, and world wide fame, you also receive a lifetime invitation.
- Win the U.S.Open. If you’re one of the golfers who won the U.S. Open in the last five years, you’re in. Well done.
- Win the PGA Championship. The winners of the last five PGA Championships also receive an invitation.
- Win the (British) Open. Again, the last 5 winners of the British Open receive an invitation.
- Win the Olympic Gold Medal in Golf. That’s a new invitation and it’s just for the most current Gold Medalist.
- Be the current U.S. Amateur Champion (or Runner up) and you will qualify for The Masters. One of the the founders of The Masters was golfing legend Bobby Jones, who was perhaps the most accomplished amateur golfer of all time. As a legacy, The Masters has a special affection for amateurs.
- The current British Amateur Champion also receives an invitation to The Masters.
- The current Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion receives an invitation to The Masters.
- The current Latin America Amateur Champion now receives an invitation.
- The current U.S. Mid-Amateur Champion receives an invitation.
- Players who finished within the Top 12 (including ties) in the previous year’s Masters receive an invitation.
- Players who finished in the Top 4 (including ties) in the previous year’s U.S. Open receive an invitation.
- Players who finished in the Top 4 of the PGA (including ties) receive an invitation.
- Players who won a PGA tour event in the last 12 months. The event must be one that awards full points for the season ending Tour Championship. This year, I believe that numbers 21 different players.
- The winners of the Players Championship for the last 3 years receive an invitation.
- Qualify for the previous year’s Season Ending Tour Championship and you will receive an invitation.
- The Top 50 Players in the final World Golf Rankings for the previous year (2016) receive an invitation as do….
- The Top 50 players in the most recent World Golf Rankings.
- Finally,The Masters Committee can also extend invitations to international players who did not otherwise qualify. This year (2017), no invitations were extended.
Reading the list, you will realize that many of the golfers in The Masters qualify through many different avenues of accomplishment. It is, truly, a gathering of the best. You can read more about the process and the details behind it at the Masters official website.
The Fine Print: Image courtesy of our friends at Getty Images, who have the 20th and 21st Century’s photographic history on file. If you’re running a non-profit blog, they are your go-to source for the right image for the times. Article produced by Perception Engineering and The Media Bunker.