“Unqualified” Kazuki Higa (Japan) and Gordon Sargent (USA) will be on the Masters stage this year.
Augusta National, which hosts the Masters, announced on the 5th (local time) that it had sent an invitation to the Masters to Haga and amateur Sargent, who is playing in the Japan Professional Golf Tour (JGTO). Both players are participating in the Masters for the first time in their lives. Chairman Fred Ridley said, “We invited two players who did not qualify,” and said, “We look forward to showing their abilities at Augusta National in April.” The number of players participating in the Masters, which opens on April 6 this year, has increased to 80.
The Masters is the most demanding tournament to qualify for. It must meet the criteria set by Augusta National, such as previous winners, major winners in the last five years, and final world rankings of 50th place in the previous year.
Higa took 4 wins last year and topped the JGTO money list. He has 6 victories in his career on the Japan Tour, and is currently ranked 68th in the world. He is a player known to domestic fans after winning the Korean Professional Golf (KPGA) Korean Tour Shinhan Donghae Open held in Japan last year. Higa can participate in the DP World Tour with the status of Japan’s prize money champion. On the 12th, he will also appear on the PGA Tour Sony Open, which will be held in Hawaii, after receiving a sponsor’s recommendation.스포츠토토
Sargent is a sophomore at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. He is the NCAA Division I Men’s Individual Champion, and the World Amateur Ranking No. 4. The Masters are open to winners and runners-up of the US Amateur Championship, British Amateur Champion, Asia Pacific Amateur Champion, Latin American Amateur Champion and US Mid-Amateur Champion. Sargent became the first amateur to accept a special invitation to the Masters since Aaron Badley (Australia) in 2000.