Looking AheadNovember 26, 2018

The Masters field is looking like it's going to be on the small side again in 2019

This photo taken 08 April 2002 shows a general vie
JEFF HAYNES(JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

With just 87 players competing this past April, the Masters had its smallest field since 1997. As officials at Augusta National Golf Club prepare to send out their initial invitations for 2019 in the next few weeks—cue the social-media posts from tour pros overjoyed with what just came in their mailboxes—the upcoming tournament could wind up being a similarly small affair.

Through the end of the PGA Tour’s fall schedule, 66 players have earned their way into the field under the Masters’ various qualifying categories (subtracting 13 past champions who no longer compete in the tournament). Spots remain for anyone in the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking at the end of 2018 who has not already qualified. Using the most recent ranking, 13 players would be added to the invite list. That number could increase depending on movement over the next five weeks—Six players from No. 51 to 60 in the World Ranking, including Brian Harman and Daniel Berger, are on the outside looking in—but using 13 for our purposes here, that gets the field to 79.

There remain a few ways others can qualify in the new year. The winner of the Latin America Amateur Championship, held in January, gets in, as does any winner of a PGA Tour event before the Masters in 2019 who hasn’t already qualified gets in, too. However, just two players—Ted Potter Jr. and Ian Poulter—won 2018 tour events who weren’t already headed to Augusta.

The top 50 players in the World Ranking the week prior to the Masters also get in. In 2018, that added four more players. So take the seven that joined the 2018 field between January and April and carry that over to this year and you get to 86 players, matching 1994, 1995 and 1997 as the smallest in the last 25 years.

There is also the possibility of Augusta National offering special invitations to the field for international players. The club extended one in 2018 to India’s Shubhanker Sharma. With the potential of having room in the field to do the same in 2019, may we be the first to plead request the folks at Augusta National consider offering South Korea’s Ho-Sung Choi, winner last week at the Casio World Open in Japan and owner of the wildest swing of any tour pro we can remember, a chance to take his talents to Georgia this April.

MASTERS 2019 FIELD through Nov. 26
Devon Bling (a)
Keegan Bradley
Angel Cabrera
Patrick Cantlay
Paul Casey
Stewart Cink
Fred Couples
Jason Day
Bryson DeChambeau
Tony Finau
Tommy Fleetwood
Rickie Fowler
Sergio Garcia
Charley Hoffman
Billy Horschel
Victor Hovland (a)
Charles Howell III
Trevor Immelman
Dustin Johnson
Zach Johnson
Takumi Kanaya (a)
Martin Kaymer
Michael Kim
Si Woo Kim
Kevin Kisner
Patton Kizzire
Satoshi Kodaira
Brooks Koepka
Matt Kuchar
Andrew Landry
Bernhard Langer
Marc Leishman
Sandy Lyle
Hideki Matsuyama
Rory McIlroy
Phil Mickelson
Larry Mize
Francesco Molinari
Kevin Na
Kevin O’Connell (a)
Jose Maria Olazabal
Louis Oosthuizen
Jon Rahm
Jovan Rebula (a)
Patrick Reed
Justin Rose
Xander Schauffele
Charl Schwartzel
Adam Scott
Webb Simpson
Vijay Singh
Cameron Smith
Brandt Snedeker
Jordan Spieth
Kyle Stanley
Henrik Stenson
Justin Thomas
Kevin Tway
Jimmy Walker
Bubba Watson
Mike Weir
Danny Willett
Aaron Wise
Gary Woodland
Tiger Woods
Ian Woosnam

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