It's early on Friday at the Valspar Championship, but that doesn't mean we can't look ahead to potential exciting weekend headlines. And one of those was pointed out by the PGA Tour's Sean Martin. Two players born in Augusta, Ga., Charles Howell III and Scott Brown, are tied atop the leader board. And neither are currently in the field for next month's Masters.
What's the big deal? Well, a win by either would get them into the year's first major championship -- and that's probably their only chance of teeing it up at Augusta National next month.
One of the most common ways of getting an invite is to be in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking either at the end of the previous year or the week before the Masters. Howell is currently No. 128 in the OWGR, while Brown is No. 178. However, any win in a PGA Tour event that awards full points towards the FedEx Cup earns you an automatic spot in the upcoming Masters.
Howell has played in his hometown event eight times, the last time being in 2012, and his best finish was a T-13 in 2004. Brown has never played in the tournament. Brown won the PGA Tour's 2013 Puerto Rico Open, but didn't get a Masters invite since it was an opposite-field event.
Another golfer who hails from the home of the Masters, Vaughn Taylor, has already locked up a spot in the field by virtue of his stunning victory at Pebble Beach last month. Perhaps, by Sunday evening, he'll have an Augusta neighbor joining him.