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Home : Golf NewsBack to News

Ernie corrects tweet misunderstanding

 

Ernie Els has sent out a second tweet correcting widespread reports announcing that he had received a special invitation to play in the 2018 Masters in April.

The reports were based on an earlier tweet on Sunday in which he wrote: "Thank you for a Great Xmas present! @TheMasters Can't wait!"

On Monday Els tweeted: "Wanted to clarify my excitement getting an invite from @TheMasters. Work continues to qualify to compete!"

The 48-year-old four-time major champion says he did, in fact, received an invitation to Augusta National for the first week in April, but it wasn't an invitation to play in the Masters.

Rather it was part of a tradition that the Augusta National Golf Club invites past major champions as honoured guests during the Masters week.

Augusta National has, from time to time, given rare exemptions to play in the Masters to international players of exceptional merit who were not full US PGA or European Tour members and had not had sufficient opportunity to qualify.

On the subject of special guests, the Augusta National chairperson Fred Ridley explained: "The inclusion of Honorary Invitees has been a great tradition at the Masters Tournament for many years,"

"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 Masters pays more homage to major champions than any of the other majors by giving special access as honorary guests that includes two clubhouse badges, a $1 000 honoraria and a gift to commemorate their appearance at the championship.

In the past, honorary invitees used to be able to play practice rounds and compete in the mid-week Par-3 Tournament, but this practice was discontinued last year.

Els, a two-time winner of both the US Open and the Open Championship, has been the runner-up at the Masters on two occasions, but he has never won a prized Green Jacket. Had he done so he would have joined the Master's champions who get automatic exemptions for life?

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Neville Leck

Written by neville@golfweather.com.