Three “at discretion” invitations to the Masters

Among the various criteria determining the players who receive the coveted invitation to the Masters Tournament, one is not strictly tied to rankings or the tournament's history

by Andrea Gussoni
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Three “at discretion” invitations to the Masters
© Getty Images Sport - Patrick Smith / Staff

Among the various criteria determining the players who receive the coveted invitation to the Masters Tournament, one is not strictly tied to rankings or the tournament's history. The Augusta National's Board has the "Discretionary invitation" at its disposal, through which any international player (non-American) who, despite not falling into any of the categories ensuring receipt of the green envelope, is deemed worthy of participating in the Masters.

Augusta Masters, schedule

Last week, Fred Ridley, Chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, announced, in customary fashion, that three players have accepted the discretionary invitation to participate in the 2024 edition of the tournament.

Here are the three recipients of the invitation: 1 - Ryo Hisatsune The young Japanese talent clinched the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award 2023, crowning a remarkable season. The Masters invitation is the icing on the cake for a 22-year-old who will make his debut in the world of Majors on the most coveted stage for most players.

2 - Thorbjorn Olesen I must say that this invitation pleases me greatly because it represents the culmination of the resurgence of our Open Champion's career in 2018. Between 2019 and 2021, Olesen had to face a legal storm, also enduring suspension from the European Tour.

Once he overcame that rough patch, he resumed from where he left off, registering one victory per year (the latest in January last year, at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship). The Dane will return to Augusta for the fourth time, after 2013 (a tied sixth place, his best result), 2014, and 2019.

3 - Joaquin Niemann You read that right, it's the name of a player from the LIV Golf. The Chilean, captain of Team Torque GC, is currently in excellent form. After winning the ISPS Handa Australian Open at the beginning of last December, Niemann won the first LIV Golf event at Mayakoba, finishing the first round in 59 strokes.

On that occasion, Jon Rahm made his seasonal debut, and at the end of the tournament, while congratulating Niemann, he described it as "a bit sad" that the Chilean would not be able to participate in the Majors due to his affiliation with LIV Golf.

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