C.T. Pan set a Masters report of types by having to attend 571 days from the time he certified by profitable the RBC Heritage till hitting his opening tee shot at Augusta Nationwide. In that respect, Daniel Berger doesn’t have it so unhealthy.
He has to attend solely about 10 months.
Berger turned a speaking level for a Masters in November when he reached as excessive as No. 13 on the earth and nonetheless wasn’t eligible. That’s as a result of Augusta Nationwide determined to set its area for an April event when the COVID-19 pandemic pressured postponement till November.
Berger is amongst 84 gamers who have already got certified for the Masters going into 2021.
By preserving the sphere set, the Masters created some consistency in its area measurement. There have been 88 gamers who had certified for the Masters at the moment a yr in the past. Augusta is effectively on its option to its goal of preserving the sphere below 100 gamers.
The Asia-Pacific Newbie within the fall in Australia and the Latin America Newbie scheduled for subsequent month in Peru have already got been canceled.
The one means into the Masters from now till April is to win one of many 13 PGA Tour occasions that provide full FedEx Cup factors, or to maneuver into the highest 50 on the earth rating every week earlier than the April Eight-11 event. The 13 occasions consists of the Sentry Event of Champions, the place solely three gamers — Andrew Landry, Nick Taylor and Richy Werenski — will not be but eligible for Augusta.
The most important title lacking from the sphere is Rickie Fowler, who was No. 23 when the yr began and slipped to No. 53 at yr’s finish. Additionally lacking out on a certain invitation have been Erik van Rooyen (No. 51), Kevin Streelman (No. 52) and Robert MacIntyre, who moved up solely barely to No. 55 after closing with a 77 within the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai to drop to a tie for 23rd.
Of the gamers who needed to depend on high 50 to earn a Masters spot on the finish of the yr, Matt Kuchar and Justin Rose have been the one ones who performed totally on the PGA Tour. That usually is a sign of a mediocre yr.
Rose had solely three high 10s — one in all them a runner-up end within the Singapore Open — and dropped to No. 35 on the earth after beginning the yr at No. Eight. Kuchar received the Singapore Open, however he didn’t register one other high 10 after he tied for second at Riviera. He did crew with Harris English to win the QBE Shootout. That doesn’t rely.
As for Pan?
After ready so lengthy to lastly play within the Masters, he matched the low rating of the ultimate spherical with a 68 and tied for seventh, incomes a visit again. This time, he solely has to attend 144 days for that opening tee shot.
Don’t get the concept Justin Thomas has been dwelling in Florida grinding on the vary to prepare for the Sentry Event of Champions.
He’s not treating it like a working trip, both.
Thomas made his debut within the winners-only area at Kapalua in 2016 and tied for 21st.
“I bear in mind being actually excited, however I didn’t take it as severely as I ought to have,” Thomas stated. “I used to be excited for a freebie, pocket cash, factors, not going there to win the event. I believe my golf confirmed that.”
Since then, Thomas has received twice and completed third in his final 4 appearances at Kapalua.
When he performed for the primary time, Thomas was recent off his inaugural PGA Tour win in Malaysia, and it was a giant deal to stroll out to the vary and attempt to put the faces with the tournaments they received the yr earlier than.
It’s finest he not strive that this yr. Due to the pandemic-shortened season, the sphere is for 2020 winners and anybody who certified for the Tour Championship. There may very well be as many 15 gamers who didn’t win the earlier yr, and two gamers — Scottie Scheffler and Abraham Ancer — who’ve by no means received.
ANNIKA GETTING ACTIVE
Annika Sorenstam practiced for 2 months on the point of play together with her father within the PNC Championship. And with 9-year-old son Will beginning to get , Sorenstam figures it’s essentially the most golf she has performed in a while.
The 72-time LPGA winner would possibly even put that observe to good use.
Sorenstam is taking part in within the LPGA Tour’s season opener subsequent month, the Diamond Resorts Event of Champions, however she’ll be within the celeb division with the likes of John Smoltz and utilizing the Stableford scoring system.
She is also eyeing a return to actual competitors.
“I turned 50 so I’m a number of the old-lady occasions,” Sorenstam stated.
She is just not attention-grabbing in a full schedule on the Legends Tour or something that resembles a comeback. Nonetheless, Sorenstam is pondering severely of taking part in the U.S. Girls’s Senior Open at Brooklawn Nation Membership in Connecticut. She additionally talked about the Senior LPGA, although that may intrude together with her position as Junior Solheim Cup captain.
Sorenstam credit Will with creating that spark.
“First it was, ‘I’ll go together with you.’ After which I began having enjoyable so now it’s ‘You include me,’” she stated.
As for her recreation? Sorenstam stated it’s nothing prefer it was, and that’s OK together with her.
“I’ve misplaced distance, I’ve misplaced accuracy,” she stated with fun. “I’m simply calm, content material. I’ve had sufficient distance from competing so I don’t evaluate. I do know what it’s speculated to appear like and really feel like. However 12 years is a very long time. I take a look at my children, I’ve obtained a sixth-grader. I’ve obtained to be good to myself and provides myself a break. I respect the sport extra.”
Dustin Johnson completed the yr at No. 1 with the most important margin over No. 2 in six years. That he amassed essentially the most world rating factors (463.54) was no shock.
If solely factors amassed for one yr have been measured, Johnson would have a giant lead. Justin Thomas was second with 334.56 factors, adopted by Jon Rahm at 328.72. Rounding out the highest 5 have been U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau (313.98) and PGA champion Collin Morikawa (272.75).
One participant stood out from among the many high 10 — Xander Schauffele, who was No. 6 in complete factors earned for the yr with out having an official PGA Tour win to his credit score. For the world rating, Schauffele acquired 58 first-place factors for having the bottom 72-hole rating on the Tour Championship. Johnson acquired credit score for the victory with the staggered begin primarily based on the FedEx Cup (he tied for third in world rating factors).
Dustin Johnson earned a mean of 25.75 world rating factors in his 18 begins worldwide in 2020. That is greater than the entire rating factors Tiger Woods earned (19.08) within the 9 tournaments he performed. … Danielle Kang received the Vare Trophy for the bottom scoring common on the LPGA Tour. She was the seventh participant to win the award within the final seven years, courting to Stacy Lewis profitable back-to-back in 2013 and 2014. … This was solely the second time in 18 years that Ryan Palmer completed the yr inside the highest 50 on the earth. The 44-year-old Palmer is at No. 30.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Fifteen of the highest 20 gamers on the earth on the finish of the yr have been below the age of 30.
“If a frog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his (behind) each time he jumped. There’s loads of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts.’ I’ve carried out a great job of taking the punches.” — Masters champion Dustin Johnson, when requested about a few of his unhealthy luck in majors through the years.