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Seven get late Masters invitations

England's Justin Rose and Australian Aaron Baddeley were among seven golfers who qualified for next week's Masters thanks to world rankings and money lists released Monday.

Augusta National Golf Club announced the final qualifiers for the field of the year's first major championship, with 97 of 107 players invited expected to compete, those sitting out being mainly older past champions.

Americans Mark Calcavecchia, Charlie Howell, John Rollins, Bart Bryant and Paul Goydos joined Baddeley and Rose in completing the final Masters entry list announced by club chairman Billy Payne.

All but Calcavecchia joined the field by jumping into the top 50 on the world rankings list Monday, the final list revealed before the start of Masters week.

Baddeley was ranked 25th, nine spots ahead of Rose.

Howell, a hometown hero whose dream is taking the green jacket of the masters winner, is ranked 15th. Bryant was 37th, five spots better than Goydos, and Rollins nudged his way in at 49th.

Calcavecchia, 59th in the rankings, earned an invitation by ranking ninth on this year's US PGA Tour prize money list with 1,417,408 dollars so far in 2007. Baddeley, Howell and Rollins also qualified with top-10 money list spots.

The biggest heartbreak from the money list was to Mark Wilson, an American who won his first PGA title earlier this month at the Honda Classic but finished 12th on Monday's money list with 1,214,558 dollars.

Wilson fell from eighth a week ago and missed cracking the top 10 by 127,757 dollars.

Aussie John Senden was the nearest miss in the rankings among those not already qualified, standing 53rd this week on the list and missing the Masters as a result.

Five amateurs and 18 first-time players will enjoy the trip down Magnolia Lane to the Augusta National clubhouse starting with next Monday's first official practice session. The first round tees off April 5.

World number one Tiger Woods, who won last week's event at Doral, is a favorite to claim his fifth Masters title and 13th major crown overall. It would be his third major in a row after taking last year's British Open and PGA Championship.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson, US tour money leader Vijay Singh of Fiji, fourth-ranked South African veteran Ernie Els and Aussie Adam Scott are among those who will challenge Woods over Augusta's undulating greens and pine trees.

 

March 27, 2007




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