What's Buzzing:

Masters field almost full, Texas Open last chance to get in via world ranking

Masters field almost full, Texas Open last chance to get in via world ranking

View photo

Chesson Hadley, No. 56 in the world, can earn a Masters berth this week, even without winning.(Getty …

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - This week's Valero Texas Open is the last chance for players to crack the top 50 in the world ranking and earn a spot in the Masters.

The drama is lacking this year.

Richard Sterne is No. 53 and George Coetzee is No. 55 - except they're not in the field at San Antonio. The only players at the Texas Open who can move into the top 50 are Chesson Hadley (No. 56) and Ryan Palmer (No. 62). Everyone else who could make it to the top 50 would have to win - and that's an automatic invitation, anyway.

Without any movement, Stephen Gallacher of Scotland (who won Dubai) is the only player who will have moved into the top 50 since the end of last year.

Augusta National began relying on the world ranking in 2000, only it was slightly different. The top 50 at the end of the preceding year received invitations, along with the top 50 a month before the Masters. Starting in 2003, the final cutoff was moved to one week before the Masters.

The club has never said why it takes the top 50 at the end of a calendar year. Perhaps it's so players can make travel arrangements, or perhaps it was to give an advantage to overseas players, who compete deep into the year. PGA Tour members have more avenues to qualify throughout the season.

But imagine what would happen if there was only one cutoff for the top 50 in the world, and it followed the Florida Swing.

Matteo Manassero (51), Branden Grace (57), David Lynn (65) and Peter Hanson (70) all were in the top 50 in December. They would have spent the Florida Swing trying to stay in the top 50 or move back in. That change might be something for Augusta National to consider if it feels the field is getting too close to 100 players.

As it is, the Masters virtually is assured of having fewer than 100 players for the 48th straight year. But just barely.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Australia's Minjee Lee wins Blue Bay LPGA in China

      Minjee Lee got up-and-down one last time at Jian Lake on Sunday to win the Blue Bay LPGA for her second victory of the year and third in two seasons. The 20-year-old Australian chipped to 3 feet from the front runoff area on the par-5 18th for her … More »

      AP - Sports - 16 minutes ago
    • Pinturault leads Hirscher after 1st run of WCup opening GS

      SOELDEN, Austria (AP) -- Alexis Pinturault of France and Marcel Hirscher of Austria finished 1-2 in the first run of the season-opening World Cup giant slalom on Sunday. … More »

      AP - Sports - 23 minutes ago
    • Bangladesh stay alive in chase of 286 to win test

      Bangladesh stay alive in chase of 286 to win test

      (Reuters) - Bangladesh lost the top half of their batting order before tea as they chase 286 for victory against England on the fourth day of the closely-contested opening test at Chittagong on Sunday. With captain Mushfiqur Rahim (22) and Sabbir … More »

      Reuters - 43 minutes ago
    • Cubs fans dare to dream as Chicago's 'lovable losers' go to World Series

      By Nick Carey and Timothy Mclaughlin CHICAGO (Reuters) - Jubilant fans of the Chicago Cubs erupted in celebration on Saturday when the franchise clinched a berth in this year's World Series, pumped up by the dizzying prospect that their team could … More »

      Reuters - 1 hour 20 minutes ago
    • Sunderland match unwanted 110-year milestone

      Sunderland match unwanted 110-year milestone

      Sunderland became the first top-flight club in more than 100 years to fail to register a win in any of their first nine league games in two successive seasons when they suffered a 1-0 defeat by West Ham United on Saturday. Winston Reid's goal deep … More »

      Reuters - 1 hour 27 minutes ago