Friday, December 29, 2017

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MAKING THE CONNECTION: 23 FORMER GOLF CLASSIC PARTICIPANTS QUALIFY FOR MASTERS April 4, 2017

MAKING THE CONNECTION: 23 FORMER GOLF CLASSIC PARTICIPANTS QUALIFY FOR MASTERS

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The 2017 Masters field is now set and there are 23 players on this year’s list that have made their way through El Paso. The 2017 Masters is set for April 6-9 at Augusta National in Augusta, Georgia.

Phil Mickelson, Mark O’Meara, Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods are all lifetime players at the Masters after winning the event in the past. Mickelson won in 2004, 2006 and 2010, O’Meara in 1998, Spieth in 2015 and Woods in 1997 and 2005.

These four players, along with those listed below, gave the City of El Paso some great memories playing in the Sun Bowl Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic.

“The golf tournament the Sun Bowl Association puts on with Western Refining has been one of the best events we put on,” Sun Bowl Executive Director Bernie Olivas said. “El Pasoans have an opportunity to see future pro golfers play here. The amount of players in the Masters this year shows the great history of the Sun Bowl Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic.”

Mickelson played in El Paso in 1989 when he was with Arizona State while O’Meara participated in the third College All-America Golf Classic in 1976. Spieth took to the El Paso Country Club Course in 2011 and Woods won the All-America Golf Classic in 1995.

Spieth has played Augusta three times and never finished worse than second. With the way he has been striking the ball so far in 2017, he’s one of the favorites this week.

Dustin Johnson, who is currently ranked as the No. 1 golfer in the world, played in the 2005 and 2006 Sun Bowl Western Refining College All-America Golf Classics.

Here’s a look at the 23 players who qualified for the Masters and played in the Sun Bowl Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic (and how they earned their invites. (Note: listed is the school each player was with during the year they played in the Sun Bowl Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic):

CATEGORY 1: Masters Tournament champions (Lifetime)
• Phil Mickelson (Arizona State – 1989)
• Mark O’Meara (Long Beach State – 1976)
• Jordan Spieth (Texas – 2011)
Tiger Woods (Stanford – 1995), who qualified under Category 1, has withdrawn from the tournament.

CATEGORY 2: U.S. Open champions (Honorary, non-competing after five years)
• Dustin Johnson (Coastal Carolina – 2005 & 2006)
• Webb Simpson (Wake Forest – 2005 & 2007)

CATEGORY 3: British Open champions (Honorary, non-competing after five years)

CATEGORY 4: PGA Championship champions (Honorary, non-competing after five years)
• Jason Dufner (Auburn – 1997)

CATEGORY 5: Winners of The Players Championship (Three years)
• Rickie Fowler (Oklahoma State – 1998)

CATEGORY 6: Current Olympic Gold medalist (One year)

CATEGORY 7: Current U.S. Amateur champion and runner-up (Honorary, non-competing after one year)

CATEGORY 8: Current British Amateur champion (Honorary, non-competing after one year)

CATEGORY 9: Current Asia-Pacific Amateur champion

CATEGORY 10: Current Latin America Amateur champion

CATEGORY 11: Current U.S. Mid-Amateur champion

CATEGORY 12: The first 12 players, including ties, in the previous year’s Masters Tournament
• Paul Casey (Arizona State – 1998)
• J.B. Holmes (Kentucky – 2002)
• Brandt Snedeker (Vanderbilt – 2002)

CATEGORY 13: The first four players, including ties, in the previous year’s U.S. Open
• Jim Furyk (Arizona – 1990)

CATEGORY 14: The first four players, including ties, in the previous year’s British Open

CATEGORY 15: The first four players, including ties, in the previous year’s PGA Championship
• Daniel Summerhays (BYU – 2006)

CATEGORY 16: Individual winners of PGA Tour events that award a full-point allocation for the season-ending Tour Championship, from previous Masters to current Masters
• Russell Henley (Georgia – 2008, 2009, 2010)
• Russell Knox (Jacksonville – 2006)
• Ryan Moore (UNLV – 2002 & 2003)
• Justin Thomas (Alabama – 2012)

CATEGORY 17: Those qualifying for the previous year’s season-ending Tour Championship
• Kevin Chappell (UCLA – 2007)
• Kevin Kisner (Georgia – 2004)
• Matt Kuchar (Georgia Tech – 1999)

CATEGORY 18: The 50 leaders on the final Official World Golf Ranking for the previous calendar year
• Bill Haas (Wake Forest – 2001)
• Alex Noren (Oklahoma State – 2004)
• Thomas Pieters (Illinois – 2012)

CATEGORY 19: The 50 leaders on the Official World Golf Ranking published during the week prior to the current Masters Tournament

Masters Tournament Central: http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/masters-tournament.html

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