Love's Masters hopes dim
Davis Love III's quest to qualify for the Masters hit a snag with the release of the World Ranking Monday morning. Thanks to missing the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge, and a series of other permutations, Love fell from 47th to 51st on the ranking and missed out on a ticket to Augusta that seemed all but assured a week ago.
Two players outside the top 50 surpassed Love: Soren Kjeldsen, who won the European Tour's Open de Andalucia and Pat Perez, who finished T-4 at Bay Hill. Both Kjeldsen and Perez already had earned Masters berths. Love also fell behind Louis Oosthuizen, Mathew Goggin and Prayad Marksaeng, who were ranked 48th to 50th a week ago. Marksaeng, who shot a final-round 64 to finish T-2 at the Asian Tour's Black Mountain Masters in Bangkok, Thailand, moved to 47th. Goggin, who was T-30 at Bay Hill, remained 49th. Oosthuizen finished T-64 at Bay Hill, but only fell from 48th to 50th.
Four players not already eligible, who are currently inside the top 50 on the Ranking earned Masters berths. They are Goggin, Marksaeng, Oosthuizen and Alvaro Quiros. Quiros, ranked 25th locked up his spot weeks ago after winning in Qatar.
Love's only remaining opportunity to qualify for the Masters is to win the Shell Houston Open and take automatic berth that comes with a PGA Tour victory. It's a scenario he's all too familiar with. One week before the 1995 Masters, Love won the Freeport-McMoran Classic in New Orleans in a playoff over Mike Heinan to secure a last-minute invitation.
-- John Antonini