Robert MacIntyre is well-placed to be inside the top 50 in the world rankings on March 29 but Rickie Fowler has work to do in order to avoid missing the first major of the year; Andy Sullivan and Thomas Pieters also outside the top 50 and without an invite
Last Updated: 10/03/21 2:10pm
The start of The Masters is now less than a month away so the pressure is on for any player yet to secure an invite into the first major of the year.
A total of 87 players are already on the list of invitees and the only ways remaining to be added to that list are to claim a PGA Tour victory over the next four weeks or be in the top 50 of the world rankings on March 29 following the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
So who has work to do to make that top 50 and ensure they are teeing up at Augusta National on April 8?
The players occupying places in the 40s without an invite – ahead of The Players Championship – include Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre, who is in 42nd place, but with plenty of points on offer in the coming weeks the 24-year-old should be able to secure his Masters debut.
American rookie Will Zalatoris, 24, is in 46th place but his career is also on an upward curve and he should do enough to book his second major appearance after finishing tied-sixth in last year’s US Open.
The biggest name languishing lower down in the rankings without an invite is Rickie Fowler.
The 32-year-old American has plummeted down the rankings to 70th after going over two years without a victory and is in serious danger of missing out on The Masters, in which he finished second in 2018, for the first time since making his debut in 2011.
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The first player outside the top 50 without an invite is American Russell Henley in 57th place, with his compatriot Kevin Streelman in 58th also requiring some upward progress.
Englishman Andy Sullivan is 61st in the world rankings and will be hoping for a good performance at the Qatar Masters this week in order to move towards the top 50.
Belgian duo Thomas Pieters, who tied for fourth at the 2017 Masters, and Thomas Detry head the betting for the Doha event and will also be looking to go well to elevate their rankings from 73rd and 83rd respectively.
South African Erik van Rooyen, who is not playing this week, is in 63rd place, with American Adam Long, who will be in action at TPC Sawgrass, one behind him.
Van Rooyen’s compatriot Branden Grace, whose Puerto Rico Open win last month did not secure a Masters berth, is in 75th but has made good forward strides recently.
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Martin Kaymer is down in 88th place, while another former US Open champion, Graeme McDowell, is now 110th.
American Charley Hoffman, who has played consistently well at Augusta National in the past – leading by four strokes after the first round in 2017 – is without an invite and currently ranked 125th.
Sweden’s Alex Noren is 94th in the rankings and will be hoping to make the most of being one of the first men on the course at Sawgrass on Thursday to put down a marker, while England’s Tom Lewis, who is 90th, will be in one the last two groups out.
Spain’s Rafael Cabrera Bello has featured in the last five Masters but looks set to miss out this year with a ranking of 100.
All four rounds of The Masters will once again be exclusively live on Sky Sports from April 8-11.
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