Hansen looking for history and shot at the Masters


PAARL, South Africa – Anders Hansen of Denmark goes into the South African Open this week with a chance to become the first player from the northern hemisphere to win the Order of Merit on the Sunshine Tour.

That’s not all that’s at stake. The South African Open is the final tournament of the year that awards world ranking points, and the top 50 in the final ranking on Dec. 28 will be invited to play in the Masters. Hansen is at No. 48.

Even without golf being played, points are gradually reduced from a player’s record each week. Among the players on the verge of an automatic bid to Augusta National are Miguel Angel Jimenez (No. 47), former British Open champion Ben Curtis (No. 49) and big-hitting Alvaro Quiros of Spain at No. 50.

Ryan Moore and Dustin Johnson are just outside the top 50, although they already are exempt.