Rose gets Masters invite

Levet, Larrazabal make debuts, too

Bob Warters's picture
Wed, 1 Jan 2003

Justin Rose – Masters debut.

Justin Rose has just received the best Christmas present he could imagine – an invitation to the US Masters at Augusta next April.

With his victory in the Victor Chandler British Masters and subsequent high finishes on the European and PGA Tours, his 39th position in the World Rankings assured that an official card dropped through his management’s letterbox.

He is one of 15 first-time invitees and one of a record 39 overseas players in the line-up to play from April 10-13 at Augusta National, where Tiger Woods is defending champion.

Ninety-six players have been invited to play in the year's first major tournament, including five amateurs – among them the British Amateur champion Alejandro Larrazabal from Spain and Frenchman Thomas Levet, runner-up in the 2002 Open to Ernie Els.

Thomas Levet - debut.

Another first-timer is Rich Beem, who won the PGA Championship for his first major title.

The other first-time invitees are Ricky Barnes, Jonathan Byrd, K.J. Choi, Peter Lonard, Hunter Mahan, Ryan Moore, Pat Perez, Chris Riley, John Rollins, , Phil Tataurangi and George Zahringer.

If a player hasn't previously qualified, he can get an invitation into the Masters by winning the Players Championship in March, finishing in the top 10 of the US tour's money list or in the top 50 of the world rankings by the week before the end of March.

Augusta National has been under pressure from women's groups to invite the club's first female member, a move club Chairman William ‘Hootie’ Johnson has said won't happen before April. The PGA tour said it would not end its association with the Masters, which is organised by the club and isn't sponsored by the Tour.



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