South Africa's Ernie Els, a 48-year-old former World No 1, has been given a special exemption to play in the upcoming 2018 Masters at hallowed Augusta National in April.
First hinted at in a brief tweet by Els himself on Sunday, his unexpected invite was confirmed by a number of reputable golf websites on Monday, Golf Digest among them.
Nicknamed "The Big Easy' because of his size and the smoothness of his swing, Els won four majors, the US Open in 1994 and 1997 and the Open Championship in 2002 and 2012, but although he came desperately close in 2000 and 2004 when he was runner-up, he was never able to capture a coveted Green Jacket.
The former World No 1, whose 2012 Open title earned him a five-year exemption into the Masters, was delighted with his rare, special Masters invitation - the first to be issued since Japan's Ryo Ishikawa was given one in 2013.
This because the big South African had believed that his 23 Masters appearance last year, might be his last
"Thank you for a Great Xmas present! @TheMasters Can't wait!" tweeted the major centurion on Sunday.
His appearance in last August's PGA Championship was his 100th in a major.
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