The Masters 2024: Who needs Valero Texas Open victory to earn late major invite to Augusta National?

Who can still qualify for The Masters? The winner of the Valero Texas Open will secure the last remaining place in the field for next week’s major at Augusta National; Watch both events live on Sky Sports Golf

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The Masters is almost upon us, with all the action live this April on Sky Sports Golf

The field is almost set for the opening major of the year, but who needs a victory this week at the Valero Texas Open to earn a last-minute invite to The Masters?

Jon Rahm will return as defending champion at Augusta National, exclusively live from April 11-14 on Sky Sports, where world No 1 Scottie Scheffler is pre-tournament favourite and Rory McIlroy has another chance to complete the career Grand Slam.

Stephan Jaeger’s maiden PGA Tour victory at the Texas Children’s Houston Open on Sunday earned him a place in The Masters field, while Byeong Hun An retained his place inside the world’s top 50 to guarantee a third appearance at Augusta National.

  • When is The Masters? How to watch live on Sky Sports
  • Who has qualified for Augusta? The Masters: Latest news
  • Stream the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and more with NOW

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Highlights from the fourth round of the Houston Open on the PGA Tour, where Stephan Jaeger enjoyed a breakthrough win

Those two additions take the current Masters field to 88 players, as of April 1, with the final remaining major invite going to this week’s PGA Tour winner at TPC San Antonio.

McIlroy headlines the Texas field as he looks to bounce back from a slow start to his PGA Tour campaign, where he has failed to register a top-10 finish, while former Masters champion Jordan Spieth and reigning Open winner Brian Harman are also in action.

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Nick Dougherty believes Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy will all be competing to wear the green jacket in Augusta and hopes McIlroy can complete a career Grand Slam to write his name in history.

Matt Fitzpatrick, two-time major winner Collin Morikawa and Ryder Cup star Ludvig Åberg all feature in a strong field, although there are plenty of notable names involved knowing it’s a must-win to qualify for The Masters.

Tom Hoge (world No 57), Mackenzie Hughes (No 63), Thomas Detry (No 64) have all elected against featuring, ending their hopes of qualifying, while ex-Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup players – along with former major champion – are among those still trying to earn a spot.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout (No 58th) is the highest-ranked player in action this week yet to have a spot in The Masters, with the South African looking to build on top-13 finishes in his last two PGA Tour starts and claim a breakthrough PGA Tour victory.

Former Ryder Cup winner Alex Noren (No 66) has posted three consecutive top-20s on the PGA Tour but is yet to book his major spot, with three-time PGA Tour winner Brendon Todd (No 68) and Andrew Putnam (No 70) also trying to make a late push for The Masters.

Ryder Cup winner Robert MacIntyre (No 79) requires a maiden PGA Tour victory to avoid missing The Masters for the second successive season, having dropped down the world rankings, while English trio Aaron Rai, Harry Hall and David Skinns all need a win to qualify.

Image: Robert MacIntyre (pictured) and compatriot Martin Laird are both among those looking for victory at the Valero Texas Open to qualify for The Masters

Former FedExCup champion Billy Horschel (No 87) has posted top-12 finishes in three of his last four PGA Tour starts but is on the verge of not making The Masters for the first time since 2017, having featured in every major since 2018.

Padraig Harrington and Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald have been given sponsor’s exemptions to tee it up in Texas, where Matt Kuchar, Kevin Kisner – who has featured in every major since 2015 – joins former major winners Webb Simpson and Stewart Cink in hoping to earn a late spot.

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Dame Laura Davies believes Scottie Scheffler will be the favourite heading into The Masters next month after defending The Players Champiobship.

How do players qualify for The Masters?

The top 50 in the world at the end of the previous calendar year earn an invite, as do those inside the top 50 this week, while previous winners hold a lifetime exemption and any other major winners from the last five years are also included in the field.

The top 12 and ties from last year’s Masters are allowed to return, as are the top four and ties from the other three majors in 2022, with every winner at a full-field PGA Tour event – the ones not played the same week as a major – over the past 12 months securing a spot.

The last three winners of The Players and all qualifiers for last season’s Tour Championship earn their invite, plus the champions of five of the world’s biggest amateur titles, while The Masters committee can invite a player who has not qualified.

When is The Masters on Sky Sports?

Wall-to-wall coverage from the tournament begins at 2pm over the first two rounds on Thursday April 8 and Friday April 9, with Featured Group action and regular updates from around the course available to enjoy on Sky Sports Golf until the global broadcast window begins at 8pm.

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Watch all the action from The Masters exclusively live on Sky Sports, where the world’s best chase major victory.

There will be lots of extra action throughout all four days via the red button on Sky Sports Golf, along with Sky Q and Sky Glass, providing plenty of bonus feeds and allowing you to follow players’ progress through various parts of Augusta’s famous layout.

Sky Sports Golf will show extended build-up content over the weekend and occasional live updates from the course before the global broadcast window starts at 8pm for the third round and 7pm for the final day, with early action available throughout via the red button.

Who will win The Masters? Watch live from April 11-14 exclusively on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins with Featured Groups on Thursday April 11 from 2pm on Sky Sports Golf. Stream the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, majors and more with NOW.


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