PGA Winners To Go To Masters in 2008

Starting in 2008, PGA Tour winners from the previous year will automatically get an invite to the Masters.

It’s an old idea, revived. PGA Tour winners were invited between 1972 and 2000. Then, the winners exemptions were repealed and replaced with players from the top 50 spots in the World Golf Rankings. That added an international flair to the tournament, but according to Augusta Chairman Billy Payne the tournament lost something in the exchange.

“I can remember innumerable times where winners of tournament events would be more excited to hear that they had automatically qualified for the Masters than to receive the first-prize money check,” Payne said. “So it was an exciting component of golf that really only the Masters could offer, and we all thought it appropriate that we bring it back.”

Winners of tournaments opposite the WGC events will not be invited, nor will winners of tournaments held after the PGA.

Invitations based on the previous year’s money list will be reduced from the top 40 to the top 30. The Masters has eliminated the invites for the top 10 players on the money list published the week before the tournament.

The final change grants exemptions to the 30 players who qualify for the previous year’s tour championship. The newly instituted FedEx Cup points system determines those spots.

I think it’s great for the Masters to return to the old system. But it’s not so good for THE CORPORATE SPONSOR OF THE WEEK. Now players getting a winner’s check will stand there, accept the CORPORATE SPONSOR OF THE WEEK trophy and check and say “I’m going to the Masters!”

Kind of puts it all in its place.

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