Wilson Secures Likely Masters Invite

Wilson Secures Likely Masters Invite

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- The final official shot of 2008 was a tap-in birdie by Richard Sterne to win the South African Open in a playoff, capping his unlikely climb in the world rankings to be among 15 players Sunday earning a Masters invitation.

Three players on two continents made one final push for the top 50 in the rankings to make the trip to Augusta National.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tied for third at the South African Open and will move up to No. 39, while Lin Wen-Tang of Taiwan tied for sixth in the Volvo Masters on the Asian Tour and will be No. 49.

Augusta National since 2000 has invited the top 50 in the rankings at the end of the calendar year. With no more official tournaments remaining, the final 2008 rankings were determined Sunday.

The 15 players not otherwise eligible except for their top-50 ranking were Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Ross Fisher, Luke Donald, Shingo Katayama, Graeme McDowell, Rory Sabbatini, Jeev Milkha Singh, Aaron Baddeley, McIlroy and Oliver Wilson – a three-time All-American at Augusta State from 2000-2003 -- along with Sterne, Soren Hansen, Tang and Soren Kjeldsen.

Along with other criteria, that puts the Masters field at 88 players who are expected to compete April 10-13. Among those still not eligible are Woody Austin, Scott Verplank, Davis Love III and J.B. Holmes, the only Ryder Cup player who could miss the first major of the year.

Augusta National has the smallest field of the four majors, and it most likely will get larger.

Players still can qualify by winning one of 13 PGA Tour events leading to the Masters, or by getting into the top 50 in the rankings published a week before the Masters. The Masters has not had more than 100 competitors since 1966.

No one made a bigger move than Sterne, who was ranked No. 113 two weeks ago. But he won the Alfred Dunhill Championship and the South African Open in consecutive weeks to move up 70 spots to No. 43.

Lin also was out of the top 100 in early November but began his move by winning the Hong Kong Open and securing his place with a tie for sixth in the Volvo Masters.

The 88 players who have qualified and are expected to compete in the 73st Masters, to be played April 10-13 at Augusta National Golf Club (players listed in only one category):

Masters champions:
Trevor Immelman, Zach Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Mike Weir, Vijay Singh, Jose Maria Olazabal, Mark O'Meara, Ben Crenshaw, Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Ian Woosnam, Sandy Lyle, Larry Mize, Craig Stadler, Tom Watson, Fuzzy Zoeller, Gary Player, Raymond Floyd

U.S. Open champions (five years):
Angel Cabrera, Geoff Ogilvy, Michael Campbell, Retief Goosen

British Open champions (five years):
Padraig Harrington, Todd Hamilton

Players Championship (three years):
Sergio Garcia, Stephen Ames

U.S. Amateur champion and runner-up:
a-Danny Lee, a-Drew Kittleson

British Amateur champion:
a-Reinier Saxton

U.S. Amateur Public Links champion:
a-Jack Newman

U.S. Mid-Amateur champion:
a-Steve Wilson

Top 16 players and ties from 2008 Masters:
Stewart Cink, Brandt Snedeker, Steve Flesch, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Robert Karlsson, Andres Romero, Nick Watney, Lee Westwood, Paul Casey, Stuart Appleby, Sean O'Hair

Top eight players and ties from 2008 U.S. Open:
Rocco Mediate, D.J. Trahan, Carl Pettersson, John Merrick

Top four players and ties from 2008 British Open:
Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson, Greg Norman

Top four players and ties from 2008 PGA Championship:
Ben Curtis, Camilo Villegas

Top 30 players from the 2008 PGA Tour money list:
Kenny Perry, Anthony Kim, Justin Leonard, Robert Allenby, Jim Furyk, Ryuji Imada, K.J. Choi, Kevin Sutherland, Ernie Els, Steve Stricker, Chad Campbell, Boo Weekley, Ken Duke, Dudley Hart, Hunter Mahan

Adam Scott, Chez ReavieWinners of PGA Tour events that award full FedEx Cup points since the 2008 Masters:

The field from the 2008 Tour Championship:
Billy Mayfair, Briny Baird, Tim Clark, Bubba Watson

Top 50 players from the final 2008 world ranking:
Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Ross Fisher, Luke Donald, Shingo Katayama, Graeme McDowell, Rory Sabbatini, Jeev Milkha Singh, Aaron Baddeley, Rory McIlroy, Oliver Wilson, Richard Sterne, Soren Hansen, Lin Wentang, Soren Kjeldsen

Top 50 players from world ranking published a week before the 2009 Masters:
TBD

Jags Wrap Up Play
August 25, 2009 Jags Wrap Up Play
Floyd Paces ASU Contingent
August 24, 2009 Floyd Paces ASU Contingent
Jaguars Go Back-To-Back
April 5, 2009 Jaguars Go Back-To-Back
Jaguars Earn Hootie Sweep
March 31, 2009 Jaguars Earn Hootie Sweep
Jags' Floyd Takes Fourth
March 22, 2009 Jags' Floyd Takes Fourth
Jags' Floyd Tied For Lead
March 21, 2009 Jags' Floyd Tied For Lead
Jags Seventh In Hackler
March 8, 2009 Jags Seventh In Hackler
Jaguars Fifth In Spring Opener
February 23, 2009 Jaguars Fifth In Spring Opener
Jaguars Set To Tee Off
February 20, 2009 Jaguars Set To Tee Off
Manning Loses Ground
December 7, 2008 Manning Loses Ground
Manning Loses Ground
December 6, 2008 Manning Loses Ground
Manning Loses Ground
December 5, 2008 Manning Loses Ground
Manning Tied For 11th
December 4, 2008 Manning Tied For 11th
Former Jaguar Out In Front
December 3, 2008 Former Jaguar Out In Front
Jaguars Ink In-State Product
November 19, 2008 Jaguars Ink In-State Product
Jaguars 11th In California
November 3, 2008 Jaguars 11th In California
ASU's Newman Third At Duke
October 14, 2008 ASU's Newman Third At Duke
ASU's Newman In Contention
October 13, 2008 ASU's Newman In Contention
Jags Move Up At Brickyard
October 12, 2008 Jags Move Up At Brickyard
Jags Ninth In Bunched Field
October 11, 2008 Jags Ninth In Bunched Field
ASU Back In Action
October 10, 2008 ASU Back In Action
Jaguars In Middle Of Pack
September 29, 2008 Jaguars In Middle Of Pack
Jaguars Back In Action
September 28, 2008 Jaguars Back In Action
ASU Summer Golf Notebook No. 13
September 19, 2008 ASU Summer Golf Notebook No. 13
ASU Summer Golf Notebook No. 12
September 17, 2008 ASU Summer Golf Notebook No. 12
Manning Atop Leaderboard
September 13, 2008 Manning Atop Leaderboard
Manning In Contention
September 12, 2008 Manning In Contention
Gregory Wins Opening Match
September 8, 2008 Gregory Wins Opening Match
Jaguars In Contention
September 8, 2008 Jaguars In Contention