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Masters List Grows And Grows

Miguel Angel Jiménez of Spain and Patrik Sjöland of Sweden were offered invitations to the Masters, making it the largest field at Augusta National in 23 years.

Jiménez, who won the Turespaña Masters Sunday, finished fourth on the European tour's money list last year after winning twice. Sjöland, who will be making his Masters debut, won his first European tour event last year and finished fifth on the money list.

"Both men are very talented players," Augusta chairman Hootie Johnson said. "Both golfers finished among the top five last year on the European tour's Order of Merit and have competed successfully against the best players in the world. We are very happy to have them in our field."

The addition of Jiménez and Sjöland brings the total number of invitations to 104, which includes past champions such as Byron Nelson and Gene Sarazen. The 95 players expected to compete is the largest field since 103 played in 1966.

While Augusta National typically extends special invitations to international players at its discretion, that number dropped sharply this year when the Masters for the first time decided to invite the top 50 players from the world rankings.

Those in the top 50 at end of last year, and any others who made the top 50 last week after the Doral-Ryder Open, received invitations.

Jiménez and Sjöland came close to getting into the Masters through the rankings over the past month.

Sjöland was 3-up with four hole to play against John Huston in the Match Play Championship until Huston rallied to beat him. Jiménez, needing a victory in the Portuguese Open two weeks ago, was three off the lead going into the final round and closed with a 76.

Jiménez will be playing in his second Masters. He missed the cut in 1995. Qualifications

  1. Masters Tournament Champions (lifetime)
  2. U.S. Open Champions (honorary, non-competing after five years)
  3. British Open Champions (honorary, non-competing after five years)
  4. PGA Champions (honorary, non-competing after five years)
  5. Winners of the The Players Championship (three years)
  6. (A) Current U.S. Amateur Champion (honorary, non-competing after one year) (B) Runner-up to current U.S. Amateur Champion
  7. Current British Amateur Champion (honorary, non-competing after one year)
  8. Current U.S. Amateur Public Links Champion
  9. Current U.S. Mid-Amateur Champion
  10. Top 24 players, including ties, in the 1998 Masters
  11. Top 16 players, including ties, in the 1998 U.S. Open
  12. Top eight players, including ties, in the 1998 PGA Championship
  13. Winners or PGA Tour co-sponsored tournaments considered by the Masters Committee to be "major" events (excluding Team Championships), from the conclusion of the 1998 Masters to the start of the 1999 Masters
  14. Top 30 from the final 1998 PGA Tour Money List
  15. Top 50 from the final 1998 World Golf Ranking
  16. Top 50 from the World Golf Ranking during fourth week prior to the 1999 Masters
  17. The Masters Committee, at its discretion, also invites international players not otherwise qualified.

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