Playing the Masters Is by Invitation Only. Here’s How Golfers Get One.

Despite a missed putt on the 18th hole at the Texas Children’s Houston Open, Stephan Jaeger still punched his ticket to Augusta National Golf Club, where he will be playing in his first Masters Tournament this week.

There are many ways to get an invitation to the Masters, and Jaeger, 34, found one of them.

But first, he missed a putt that would have clinched a victory over the former Masters champion Scottie Scheffler. Then Scheffler missed a shorter putt that would have forced a playoff with Jaeger.

In the end what mattered was that Jaeger won the tournament, not how he did it, and in doing so he earned an invitation to the Masters.

“I couldn’t have thought, dreamed up a better week to do it,” he said after his victory.

The Masters, the season’s first major for men, is an invitational, which means it is up to the members of Augusta National to send invitations and create the field of men who will compete for the coveted green jacket. This is unique among the major championships.

This year extra attention has been paid to how players secure their invitation largely because of the rise of LIV Golf, the league that has poached a dozen top players. (More on that later.) But how players earn their Augusta invitations has been part of a bigger story around getting into the PGA Tour’s top tournaments, which have the strongest fields and high prize money.

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