There are a handful of tournaments in golf that deserve the utmost respect for a golfer, so no matter how poorly a golfer plays in a given season, if he wins the Masters PGA Tour, it’s still considered a good year by any standard.
Only a select few are invited to play at this event, making it even more special to win. The name was changed in 1939 from Augusta National Invitation Tournament to the Masters, because only the “masters” of golf were invited.
A Championship of Pride
It wasn’t even a championship when compared to the other majors, but over time, the Masters took its place beside the U.S. Open, the Open Championship and the PGA Championship as a true golfing major.
There are a handful of criteria one has to meet in order to become eligible to play at Augusta.
How to Be Eligible for the Masters
Winning a previous Masters provides an exemption over a lifetime, while winning any of the other majors grants a golfer five years of acceptance to the Masters.
There’s a way in for the amateurs, too, if they win or finish second in that season’s U.S. Amateur. Other “ticket punches” to the Masters are given to winners of the British Amateur, Asia-Pacific Amateur, Latin America Amateur and U.S. Mid-Amateur.
If a player wins Olympic golfing gold, he also plays the next edition of the Masters.
If a golfer finishes in the top 12 at a Masters, they are invited to return. If they finish within the top four at any of the majors, including ties, they will be invited to play in the next Masters.
Winning a PGA Tour event with a full FedEx Cup points amount grants acceptance to Augusta as well. The same goes for the 30 players that qualify for the Tour Championship.
…and finally, the top 50-ranked golfers (from Jan. 1st of that calendar year) are also invited. There’s a chance that even some new names on that list as the season progressed earn an invitation.
How to Win at the PGA Tour
Since the Masters has been played at Augusta National since the inception of the event, players can study the course. However, studying and playing are two different aspects.
Players generally need some momentum heading into this event. If a player has not won an event since the start of the season or has previously won at Augusta, there’s a good chance he won’t win.
You don’t have to be a winner of any major, but a consistent top-10 player would justify having some momentum.
Players need to avoid the big numbers, as no player has ever won the Masters when recording an eight on ahy hole.
Experience can’t be overlooked, either. On average, golfers with roughly 10 years of professional “toil” come out ahead. The average is slightly skewed with older golfers like Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia over the last decade.
Strong iron play and taking control of the Par 5’s are a key. Players who effectively deliver second shots on longer holes typically take over the tournament.