Jaidee to Become First Thai in Masters


AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Thongchai Jaidee received a special invitation Monday to play in the Masters, making him the first Thailand-born player to compete at this major.
The cutoff for the criteria was the PGA Tour money list and world ranking published after The Players Championship. Only two players were added who were not already eligible'Rory Sabbitini and Arron Oberholser, both having won this year and finishing in the top 10 on the money list and top 50 in the rankings.
The Masters often invites a foreign player not already eligible. Jaidee finished among the top three on the Asian Tour money list five straight years and was the first Thai to win a European tour event.
The 36-year-old Jaidee has won the Malaysian Open the last two years.
Left out of the Masters was Camilo Villegas, a PGA Tour rookie from Colombia who fell one birdie short at Sawgrass of getting into the top 10 on the money list; and J.B. Holmes, another PGA Tour rookie who won the FBR Open.
Greg Owen of England failed to redeem himself from his three-putt from 3 feet on the 71st hole at the Bay Hill Invitational that cost him victory and a spot in the Masters. He needed to finish in the top 20 at The Players Championship to move into the top 50, but wound up in a tie for 22nd after closing with a 70.
Owen was No. 52 in the world rankings published Monday.
The field does not include Kenny Perry and Ryan Moore'both were eligible but will miss the tournament because of injuries.
Tiger Woods is the defending champion at the Masters, which starts April 6 on an Augusta National course now stretched to 7,445 yards.
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