The invitations from the masters last as a distinctive detail for the tournament

The Masters has always been an invitation-only event, even before it was called the Masters, although its appeal and prestige have increased since the tournament’s earliest days. The opportunity to play today is hardly a surprise: Augusta National publishes a list of clear ways to qualify, from being a previous Masters champion to finishing in the top four at the previous year’s PGA championship, even if it has the authority. to ask others to compete. But players aren’t always aware that the legendary tournament comes with a physical invitation.

Patrick Reed, who earned one of Augusta National’s green jackets in 2018, recalled being advised to keep an eye on the mail for his first invite after winning the Wyndham Championship, but that it was still “unbelievable” when the club envelope near the Savannah River arrived ahead of the 2014 Masters. He kept that first invitation, as well as the one of the year after winning.

“They are both the ones that I intend to save and cherish forever,” he said at a press conference in 2019, though he didn’t know where his other invitations had gone over the years. She added, “Only the thrills when you open it, it’s just a great experience, even if it’s just a piece of paper with your invitation on it.”

Neither Crenshaw nor Player could remember any other tournament with such a habit, or, at least, not one as refined. (“I don’t remember getting a letter from R&A,” Player, who has long described the British Open as his favorite tournament, wryly reflected on the organizer of that event.) Many in golf, including Crenshaw, credit the enduring formality to Bobby Jones, the founder of Augusta National, who died in 1971.

“To me, it reflects what Bob Jones has always maintained in almost everything in Augusta: it’s fair, it has a certain grace, there’s a touch of humility,” Crenshaw said. “It’s well done, the font has never changed and the seal is on it. It’s the way they do things. “

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