Masters alters its procedures for qualifying

November 24, 1998|By COX NEWS SERVICE

A word not often associated with the Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club -- change -- is applicable once again.

First, the club this summer altered four holes, adding 60 yards to the course and putting more of a demand on accuracy.

Now, Augusta National has revised its stipulations for invitation to the season's first major. Three of the changes will be effective for the 1999 Masters; the rest begin with the 2000 tournament.

Changes for the 1999 Masters:

The top 50 players from the World Golf Rankings at the end of the calendar year will qualify, if they aren't in the field. Those players in the top 50 four weeks before the Masters also will qualify.

Forty players from the previous year's PGA Tour money list will qualify, up from 30. Also, the three leaders on the current money list, if not otherwise qualified, will be invited.

The winner of the Players Championship will receive a three-year exemption, instead of one.

Additional changes beginning with the 2000 Masters:

L Winners from a PGA Tour co-sponsored event will not qualify.

The top four from the British Open, including ties, will qualify.

The top 16 from the previous Masters will qualify, down from 24.

The top eight from the U.S. Open, down from 16, will qualify.

The top four, including ties, from the PGA Championship, down from eight, will qualify.

Pub Date: 11/24/98

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