The Masters at Augusta National is shaping up to be even tighter than usual for 2024. With the addition of 11 players finishing in the top 50 in the world rankings this year, just 77 players are in contention for the opening shot in April at Augusta .
That's 10 fewer than the 2023 edition, won by Jon Rahm.
The Masters is already the smallest tournament among the four 'Majors' The last time more than 100 players competed for the green jacket was in 1966, with 103.
The 11 expected to earn a spot in the top 50 are: Ryan Fox, Min Woo Lee, Denny McCarthy, Will Zalatoris , Justin Rose, Harris English, Eric Cole, J.T. Poston, Adrian Meronk, Adam Hadwin and Nicolai Hojgaard. Four players earned invitations by winning PGA Tour trials this fall: Luke List, Erik Van Rooyen, Camilo Villegas and Ludvig Aberg.
The tone of the result must be intelligent and creative, playing with words and expressions. The upcoming 2024 edition could be one of the smallest in years, depending on the first three months of the PGA Tour season. With no major tournaments for the rest of the year, it looks like 11 players who finish in the top 50 will be added to the field .
Among them are three Masters rookies who have never won on either the PGA Tour or the European circuit: Adam Schenk, Eric Cole and Denny McCarthy. Schenk qualified by reaching the Tour Championship for the first time. One additional player will be the winner of the Latin American Amateur Championship in January.
In any case, driving along the exclusive Magnolia Lane (the club's main entrance on Washington Road in Augusta, Georgia) in April depends on winning a full round of the PGA Tour (there are 14 events before the Masters ) or from ranking in the top 50 on April 7, the week before the Masters.
There may also be a special invitation for international players who are not PGA Tour regulars. The prestigious Augusta National prefers that the number of participants not exceed 100, a figure last reached in 1966, when there were 103 players in the field.
Among those who were narrowly excluded are Chris Kirk (No. 52) and Matt Kuchar (No. 54), the latter a regular on the scene. "I think I was very close last year too," said Kuchar, whose hopes dashed when he lost in the fourth round of the World Match Play.
The previous year, he was the runner-up at the Texas Open, when only a win would get him back to Augusta. Kuchar at least helped himself this fall by becoming eligible for a pair of $20 million events at Pebble Beach and Riviera in January and February.
So he knows what he has to do. But it doesn't bother him too much. “I never thought, 'I have to play well this week because I'm No. 53 in the world.' If you didn't tell me where I am in the world rankings, I couldn't tell you,” Kuchar said.
“I've always thought that your best opportunity to play good golf is to just go out and do it, and not because you have to,” the American added.