Number 10 Ross McGowanHow close did the Englishman come to playing in the Masters? Consider that his 17-under score at the European tour's season-ending Dubai World Championship would have been good enough to win 60 percent of the tour's events in 2009. But he wasn't catching Lee Westwood that week. Westwood shot 23 under to relegate McGowan to second place. Why is this important? Because a win in Dubai would have shot the 27-year-old into the top 50 on the World Ranking and into his first Masters.
Number nine Peter HansonNot well-known in the U.S., the Swede is the highest-ranked player in the world who didn't qualify for the Masters. The 57th-ranked Hanson hasn't finished worse than 27th in four European Tour starts in 2010, but didn't get an invitation to Bay Hill and had to settle for a victory in the Tavistock Cup (with Lake Nona) as the highlight of his Florida swing.
Number eight Mathew GogginGoggin, the world's best Tasmanian-born golfer played in his first Masters a year ago, and, like Ames, just missed getting back to Augusta by virtue of a high major finish. The top four finishers in the previous year's British Open qualify, and Goggin finished fifth, held back by a final-round 73. What kept him out: Three consecutive bogeys on the back nine at Turnberry.
Number seven Jeev Milkha SinghJeev joined the PGA Tour in 2010 and in his first official tournament as a tour member finished T-9 at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. It's the second year in a row this three-time European Tour winner had a top-10 finish in a WGC event.
Number six Davis Love IIILove played the last of his 18 Masters in 2007 and has been dearly trying to get back. No longer in the the top 50 on the ranking he needed to win a PGA Tour event to qualify and came close a few times holding the early lead at in Honolulu and Bay Hill. He couldn't convert on the weekends, and will probably spend his Masters week fishing and hunting.
Number five Stephen AmesAmes lost his automatic berth when his three-year exemption for winning the Players ended after last year's Masters. Ames just missed getting back into the top 50, both at the end of '09 and after last week's cutoff. But he was a lot closer to a return trip than that: Last year at Augusta he finished tied for 20th (top 16 get to come back to Augusta) and he tied for 10th at the U.S. Open (the top eight earned an invite to the Masters).
Number four Justin RoseRose's game has fallen off since he reached a high-water mark of sixth on the World Ranking midway through 2008. The European Tour money champ in 2007, Rose made a last-ditch effort to get into the field with strong finishes at the Honda and Transitions events. It's too bad he won't be there, actually, he's never missed the cut at Augusta and held or shared the first-round lead three times in his five Masters starts.
Number three Bubba WatsonA second at the Hope and a third at the Transitions weren't enough to get him to Augusta for the third straight year. Watson, in fact has had a second-place finish on the PGA Tour for four years in a row, but he hasn't won, missing out on perhaps the easiest way for a journeyman to crack the field - win a tournament.
Number two Rickie FowlerWhen Rickie Fowler laid up on the 15th hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open it not only cost him a chance to win that tournament, but, in retrospect, he threw away his best chance to get into the Masters. Imagining a pairing of Rickey, Ryo and Rory on the first tee.? It will have to wait for Pebble Beach.
Number one J.B. HolmesIf any American was going to get into the Masters at the last minute, Holmes was the best bet. With a third at Riviera and a second at Pebble it looked like the Kentuckian would be a lock to move into the top 50 by Bay Hill. After a first-round 66 at Arnie's place his ticket appeared punched, but he fell off the pace. Holmes has won more money than anyone on the PGA Tour not exempt into the Masters. For him, and everyone else on our list, it's wait til next year.