Gordon Sargent, Kazuki Higa accept invitations to the Masters

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Augusta National Golf Club invited NCAA Division I mens championGordon Sargent Kazuki HigaJapan will compete in the 87th Masters, bringing down the field for April major to 80 players.

Sargent, 19, is a sophomore at Vanderbilt. He birdied the first hole in a four man playoff in May to become first freshman to win the NCAA individual title since 2007. The Birmingham, Alabama native is third in World Amateur Golf Ranking. This is the first time an amateur has accepted a special invitation for the Masters. Aaron Baddeley2000

Higa, 27 years old, has won six times on Japan Golf Tour, including four this year. He finished first in Japans Order of Merit. He is also 68th on the Official World Golf Ranking. This will be his second major championship start. He missed the cut at St. Andrews 150th Open Championship in July. Higa finished 36th at Octobers Zozo Championship.

Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley stated that the Masters Tournament is a priority because it offers opportunities to both amateur and professional golfers around the world. We have invited two deserving players who are not otherwise qualified. Each player has displayed their talents in the past year on the international stage and at the elite amateur level. We look forward to welcoming them at Augusta National in March.

Players can also qualify for the Masters, which takes place April 6-9. The winner of the 2023 Latin America Amateur Championship, which will take place April 6-9, will be invited to join. Also, the winners of upcoming PGA Tour events will be invited to join the field.

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