Els invited to Masters, but not as competitor

Photo of Els invited to Masters, but not as competitor

Ernie Els received an invitation to appear at the 2018 Masters; unfortunately, it wasn't an invite to play in the 82nd edition of the tournament.

Els took to Twitter on Tuesday to explain his Sunday tweet, writing he's going as an honorary invitee, but still needs qualify in order to play in the season's first major championship.

"The inclusion of Honorary Invitees has been a great tradition at the Masters Tournament for many years,'' Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley told Doug Ferguson of The Associated Press on Tuesday. ''This coming year the list includes Ernie Els, and we are once again excited to welcome him and all of these distinguished guests to Augusta National in April."

The South African's five-year exemption for the winning the 2012 Open Championship expired last April, and now must win a PGA Tour event or crack the top 50 in the world rankings prior to the 2018 Masters to gain an invitation.

The four-time major champ has registered six top-10 results at Augusta, including a pair of runner-up finishes in 2000 and 2004.

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