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Balancing and compensation exercise of the Masters

Niemann, Hisatsune and Olesen, invited to the Augusta Masters

Joaquín Niemann conquista el Open de Australia en Sydney y se clasifica para el Open.
Joaquin Niemann.

There is no doubt that at Augusta National they are geniuses of balance. Today, Wednesday, they have officially announced that they are inviting three players to the next edition of the Masters, in a month and a half: Joaquín Niemann, Thorbjorn Olesen and Ryo Hisatsune.

It is not very common for the Masters to invite three players at once and it is even less common for there to be European golfers. Normally, these hand-picked invitations of players who have not qualified are more to do with the players’ origins, especially from Asia.

It is even less normal for these absolutely discretionary invitations to go to players from the PGA Tour or the DP World Tour, as is the case with Hisatsune and Olesen. Given the precedents, it is not unreasonable to think that Augusta has carried out an exercise in compensation. We invite a player from LIV Golf, but to avoid a bloody and rampant debate, we include in the same lot two other golfers from the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour. At the same time, it chooses a European golfer, another Asian and an American. Augusta and King Solomon.

Fred Ridley, Chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, was in charge of announcing this Wednesday that Danish Thorbjorn Olesen, Japanese Ryo Hisatsune and Chilean Joaquín Niemann have accepted the invitations to compete in the 2024 Masters.

“The Masters has a long tradition of inviting outstanding international players who are not otherwise qualified,” said Ridley. “Today’s announcement represents the tournament’s ongoing commitment to generating interest in golf around the world. We look forward to welcoming each player to Augusta National this spring.”

Olesen will compete in his fourth Masters and the first since 2019. He made the cut in each of his three previous appearances at Augusta National, including a sixth place in his debut in 2013. Last month, 34-year-old Olesen won in Ras al Khaimah, marking his third consecutive DP World Tour season with a win. He has five top-10s in his last seven appearances.

Hisatsune will make his Masters debut next April. In November he became the first Japanese player to be named Rookie of the Year on the DP World Tour. The 21-year-old player finished the 2023 DP World Tour season in 10th place after a campaign that included a win at the French Open last September. Hisatsune has recently stood out with an eighth place at the Australian Open in December and an eleventh in Palm Springs, California, last month.

Niemann, 25, will participate in his fifth Masters, in which he has made the cut in three of his first four tournaments, including a 16th place in 2023. He has finished in the top five in each of his three appearances on the DP World Tour this season, including a win at the Australian Open in a playoff. Niemann’s first Masters came in 2018, as champion of the Latin America Amateur and he was Number One in the world as an amateur.

As of today, 83 players have been invited to compete in the 2024 Masters. Two qualification criteria remain active:

– The winners of the upcoming PGA Tour events that award a full point allocation.

– The top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking published the week before the Masters.

The 2024 Tournament will be the 88th edition of the Masters and is scheduled from April 11 to 14.