The Masters field is projected to be modest, with only 77 qualified participants

The Masters field is already the smallest of the majors. Depending on the PGA Tour

ORLANDO, FLORIDA – The Masters field is already the smallest of the majors. Depending on the first three months of the PGA Tour season, the 2024 event might be one of the smallest in years.

With no important events scheduled for the remainder of the year, it appears that 11 players who finish in the top 50 will be added to the field, bringing the total number of competitors to 77.

There will be three players making their Masters field debuts who have never won on the PGA Tour or the European Tour: Adam Schenk, Eric Cole, and Denny McCarthy. Schenk qualified by making his first appearance in the Tour Championship.

Ryan Fox, Min Woo Lee, McCarthy, Will Zalatoris, Justin Rose, Harris English, Cole, J.T. Poston, Adrian Meronk, Adam Hadwin, and Nicolai Hojgaard are among the 11 anticipated to break into the top 50 in the world ranking.

Four golfers received invites by winning PGA Tour tournaments in the fall: Luke List, Erik van Rooyen, Camilo Villegas, and Ludvig berg.

The winner of the Latin America Amateur Championship in January will be one more player. Otherwise, the only way to go down Magnolia Lane in April is to win a complete PGA Tour event (there are 14 before the Masters) or to be in the top 50 on April 7, the week before the Masters.

There may also be a special invitation for overseas players who are not regulars on the PGA Tour.

Augusta National likes a field of less than 100 players, which it last topped in 1966 with 103 players.

Chris Kirk (No. 52) and Matt Kuchar (No. 54), both of whom are used to being on the bubble, are among those who nearly missed out.

“I think I was really close last year, as well,” Kuchar said.

His chances were dashed as he was eliminated in the fourth round of the Match Play tournament. He finished second in the Texas Open the previous year, when only a win would have brought him back to Augusta.

In the fall, Kuchar helped himself by getting eligible for a pair of $20 million marquee tournaments at Pebble Beach and Riviera. He understands what he must do. He’s simply not very interested in it.

“I’ve never thought, ‘I need to play well this week because I’m 53rd in the world.’ “I couldn’t have told you if you hadn’t told me where I was in the world rankings,” Kuchar explained. “I’ve always thought your best chance to play good golf is to just go out and do it, and not because you have to do it.”

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