NORTON, Mass. – No one has played better during the PGA Tour restart than Daniel Berger. ShotLink data from the past 10 weeks showed that Berger has gained more than two shots on the field (2.274) in the strokes gained: total category, a two-month surge that has seen him win at Colonial, rocket to No. 7 in the FedExCup standings and ascend to No. 18 in the world rankings.
Berger is once again one of the best players in the world, and yet, no matter what he does the rest of the year – a clean FedExCup sweep, a U.S. Open win, whatever – he won’t be at the Masters in November.
The field for this year’s event was set at 96 players in early April, after tournament officials decided to reschedule the event for Nov. 12-15. At the time, Berger did not meet any of the eligibility criteria, which included the top 50 in the world rankings as of March 15. (Berger was No. 107.)
Augusta National said any players who win a Tour event this summer and during the fall portion of the 2020-21 season – or qualify through any of the other avenues such as high finishes in the majors – would earn an invitation to the 2021 event.
“I’m not sure what else I have to do at this point to get into Augusta,” he said. “I’m a little baffled that I haven’t had more opportunity to at least hear from some of the guys over there and have a chance, obviously. The field was set, but – I don’t know if I could say I deserve a spot, but I feel like I’m playing well enough to earn a spot into the Masters.”
Berger’s management team has had discussions with Masters officials but he said he’s “trying not to focus too much on it.”
“It’s definitely in the back of my head,” he said. “I’m thinking about it. I want to play in the Masters. I feel like I’ve done enough to earn a spot, so we’ll see what happens. I guess it’s up to them.”