Masters 2017: How each player qualified

By Will GrayApril 4, 2017, 6:52 pm

There are 19 categories by which a player can earn an exemption into the Masters. Whether winning a tournament or contending at a major, each player in this week's field has earned his way into perhaps the most exclusive field of the year.

Here is a look at how each of the 94 participants qualified (Note: players qualifying via multiple categories are listed under the first by which they qualified.):

1. Masters champions (lifetime exemption): Angel Cabrera, Fred Couples, Trevor Immelman, Zach Johnson, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Phil Mickelson, Larry Mize, Mark O Meara, Jose Maria Olazabal, Charl Schwartzel, Adam Scott, Vijay Singh, Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson, Mike Weir, Danny Willett, Ian Woosnam

2. U.S. Open champions (last five years): Webb Simpson, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Dustin Johnson

3. The Open champions (last five years): Ernie Els, Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson

4. PGA Championship champions (last five years): Jason Dufner, Jason Day, Jimmy Walker

5. The Players Championship winners (last three years): Rickie Fowler

6. Current Olympic gold medalist: None

7. Current U.S. Amateur champion and runner-up: Curtis Luck, Brad Dalke

8. Current British Amateur champion: Scott Gregory

9. Current Asia-Pacific Amateur champion: None

10. Current Latin America Amateur champion: Toto Gana

11. Current U.S. Mid-Amateur champion: Stewart Hagestad

12. First 12 players, including ties, from 2016 Masters: Daniel Berger, Paul Casey, Matthew Fitzpatrick, J.B. Holmes, Soren Kjeldsen, Hideki Matsuyama, Brandt Snedeker, Lee Westwood

13. First four players, including ties, from 2016 U.S. Open: Jim Furyk, Shane Lowry, Scott Piercy

14. First four players, including ties, from 2016 Open: Steve Stricker

15. First four players, including ties, from 2016 PGA Championship: Branden Grace, Brooks Koepka, Daniel Summerhays

16. Winners of full-FedEx Cup point PGA Tour events since 2016 Masters: Sergio Garcia, Adam Hadwin, James Hahn, Russell Henley, Charley Hoffman, Mackenzie Hughes, Billy Hurley III, Si Woo Kim, Russell Knox, Marc Leishman, William McGirt, Ryan Moore, Rod Pampling, Pat Perez, Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed, Brendan Steele, Brian Stuard, Hudson Swafford, Justin Thomas, Jhonattan Vegas

17. Qualifiers for 2016 Tour Championship: Roberto Castro, Kevin Chappell, Emiliano Grillo, Kevin Kisner, Matt Kuchar, Kevin Na, Sean O Hair, Gary Woodland

18. Top 50 players in final world rankings of 2016: Byeong-Hun An, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Bill Haas, Tyrrell Hatton, Yuta Ikeda, Francesco Molinari, Alex Noren, Louis Oosthuizen, Thomas Pieters, Andy Sullivan, Bernd Wiesberger, Chris Wood

19. Top 50 players in world rankings the week prior to 2017 Masters: Ross Fisher, Tommy Fleetwood, Hideto Tanihara, Jeunghun Wang

Getty Images

PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

PGA Tour:

The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.

LPGA:

We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

Getty Images

Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.


Full-field scores from the Joburg Open


Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm

Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:16 pm

Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.

Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.

Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.

The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.