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Woosnam gains entry to NEC Invitational

Former Masters champion Ian Woosnam caught a break on the last hole of the British Masters today and became the final European to qualify for the $5 million NEC Invitational.

Woosnam tied for 11th, which gave him just enough money to surpass Sweden's Patrik Sjoland on the European Tour's money list. The top 12 through the conclusion of today's play are in the field for the World Golf Championship event at Firestone in two weeks.

The NEC is for players from the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams. But the European Tour changed its system to reward the top 12 Europeans on the money list through today

It also penalized those who chose to play the PGA Tour this year. Sergio Garcia, Jean Van de Velde, Paul Lawrie, Jarmo Sandelin, and Jesper Parnevik --No. 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking and a two-time winner in America this year -- will not be eligible.

In their place will be Thomas Bjorn, British Masters champion Gary Orr, Phillip Price, Paul McGinley, and Woosnam.

Ian Woosnam narrowly qualified for the NEC Invitational at Firestone. Allsport.

Woosnam needed a par on the 18th hole at Woburn to secure his spot in the NEC field. He hooked his tee shot and it appeared to be going out of bounds, but struck a ground-high billboard and stayed in play.

He closed with a 68, and wound up about $2,500 ahead of Sjoland.

Members of the U.S. Ryder Cup team have qualified. The Presidents Cup teams will be decided after next week's PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods is the defending champion of the NEC Invitational.

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