Golf

Why the 13th-Ranked Golfer in the World Isn’t Invited to the 2020 Masters

When the 2020 Masters tees off this Thursday morning, the tournament will be missing one of the PGA Tour’s best players.

Daniel Berger, the 13th-ranked golfer in the world, will be unable to play Augusta National Golf Club this year because he failed to qualify for the tournament, which was supposed to be held in April. Berger has been one of the most consistent players on Tour all season, but he won’t be able to compete for his first green jacket in 2020.

Daniel Berger is one of the PGA Tour’s best

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Daniel Berger may not be a household name on the PGA Tour, but he’s one of the most talented and most consistent golfers in the world right now. In the first tournament back from the Tour’s lengthy COVID-19 hiatus, Berger won the Charles Schwab Challenge in a playoff against Collin Morikawa.

He returned the next week and finished T3 at the RBC Heritage. After a missed cut at the Memorial Tournament in his next start, Berger rattled off a T2, T13, 3, T25, and T15 to finish the 2020 season.

In three events since September, Berger finished no worse than 34th. He was seemingly in the mix in every tournament he played over the past six months, and he only missed one cut during that span. Berger worked his way up to No. 13 on the Official World Golf Rankings.

Despite his stellar play of late, Berger won’t be teeing it up this weekend at Augusta.

Berger failed to qualify for the 2020 Masters

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If The Masters field was set last week, Berger would’ve received an invite in a heartbeat. He’s been one of the best PGA Tour players in terms of strokes gained all season, and he even has a win to boost his resume.

But, unfortunately for Berger, that’s not the case. The 2020 Masters field was finalized in March, as the tournament was originally scheduled for April.

Berger would qualify for numerous Masters criteria at this moment, but he didn’t qualify for any eight months ago. The top 50 players in the OWGR automatically get a bid to play at Augusta. Berger was ranked No. 106 in March.

Berger deserves a chance to compete for a green jacket

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Augusta National is extremely rigid with its rules and regulations. The Masters host had a chance to extend a special exemption to allow Berger to play in the 2020 Masters, but it declined to do so.

In August, Berger was asked if he deserved to make the field.

Yeah, I’m not sure what else I have to do at this point to get into Augusta. I think I’m ranked 18 in the world and I’m seventh in the FedEx Cup, so I’m a little baffled that I haven’t had more opportunity to at least hear from some of the guys over there or have a chance, obviously. The field was set, but I don’t know, I feel like at this point — I don’t know if I could say I deserve a spot, but I feel like I’m playing well enough to earn a spot into the Masters.

Daniel Berger

He sure was then, and he still is now. The Masters is meant to showcase the greatest golfers in the world, but the tournament will be missing one of its best young stars this November.