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Golf News: - Posted 22nd February 1998

Darren Clarke gets Masters invitation

Augusta, Georgia. - Tiger Woods will face an international contingent that equals the largest ever in the Masters when he defends his title 9th - 12th April at Augusta National Golf Club.

The invitation list for this year's Masters, released by Augusta National chairman Jack Stephens, includes 67 golfers from the United States and 29 players from abroad, equaling the 1962 international field.

All past Masters champions receive lifetime invitations to the tournament. The winners of the remaining PGA Tour events before the Masters will also receive invitations.

Thirteen of those invited will be playing in their first Masters, including five amateurs and four of the five international players receiving special invitations.

The foreign players appearing on special invitations are Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland, Ignacio Garrido of Spain, Retief Goosen of South Africa and Shigeki Maruyama of Japan -- all making their first Masters appearance -- and Jumbo Ozaki of Japan.

In addition to Woods, other past champions in the field include Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Fred Couples and Fuzzy Zoeller.

Among those invited who will be chasing their first Masters title are Greg Norman, Colin Montgomerie, Davis Love III, Tom Lehman, Ernie Els, Justin Leonard and John Daly.

Past winners Sam Snead, Byron Nelson and Gene Sarazen have kicked off the tournament in recent years by hitting ceremonial drives off the first tee before the first round and were invited back again this year.

1998 Masters Players
x-Tommy Aaron Billy Andrade Stuart Appleby x-George Archer Paul Azinger y-Ken Bakst
x-Seve Ballesteros Phil Blackmar x-Gay Brewer Jr. Mark Brooks Billy Ray Brown Olin Browne
x-Jack Burke Jr. Mark Calcavecchia x-Billy Casper Jr. Stewart Cink y-Tim Clark Darren Clarke
x-Charles Coody John Cook x-Fred Couples x-Ben Crenshaw John Daly David Duval
Steve Elkington Ernie Els x-Nick Faldo Brad Faxon x-Raymond Floyd x-Doug Ford
David Frost Fred Funk Jim Furyk Ignacio Garrido Bill Glasson x-Bob Goalby
Retief Goosen Jay Haas Tim Herron Gabriel Hjertstedt Scott Hoch Bradley Hughes
John Huston Lee Janzen Per-Ulrik Johansson Steve Jones x-Herman Keiser Tom Kite
y-Joel Kribel y-Matt Kuchar x-Bernhard Langer Tom Lehman Justin Leonard Davis Love III
x-Sandy Lyle Andrew Magee Jeff Maggert Shigeki Maruyama Scott McCarron Phil Mickelson
x-Cary Middlecoff x-Larry Mize Colin Montgomerie x-Byron Nelson x-Jack Nicklaus Frank Nobilo
Greg Norman Mark O'Meara David Ogrin x-José Maria Olazábal Jumbo Ozaki x-Arnold Palmer
Jesper Parnevik Corey Pavin x-Gary Player Nick Price Loren Roberts Costantino Rocca
x-Gene Sarazen Scott Simpson Vijay Singh Jeff Sluman x-Sam Snead x-Craig Stadler
Paul Stankowski Tommy Tolles David Toms Bob Tway x-Art Wall Jr. y-Craig Watson
x-Tom Watson Lee Westwood Willie Wood x-Tiger Woods x-Ian Woosnam x-Fuzzy Zoeller
x - past champion with lifetime invitation
y - amateur