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Masters adds 13 to the field through world ranking

  • Article by: DOUG FERGUSON
  • Associated Press
  • December 18, 2012 - 2:59 PM

Geoff Ogilvy came within one stroke of not having to spend the next three months thinking about the Masters.

Ogilvy tied for fourth in the Australian PGA Championship in the final week of official golf this year. He will end the year at No. 51 in the world ranking, falling just short of cracking the top 50 to earn an invitation to Augusta National.

Thirteen players were added to the 2013 field by finishing the year inside the top 50 — Paul Lawrie, Francesco Molinari, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Branden Grace, Bill Haas, Nicolas Colsaerts, Jason Day, Hiroyuki Fujita, Matteo Manassero, Thomas Bjorn, Jamie Donaldson, George Coetzee and Thorbjorn Olesen.

Only two of those are full PGA Tour members (Haas and Day), though they have far more opportunities to get into the Masters by either qualifying for the Tour Championship, winning a regular PGA Tour event or finishing among the top 30 on the money list.

There's still plenty of time for Ogilvy and Henrik Stenson (No. 53). Invitations will be offered to anyone winning a PGA Tour event before the Masters (except for the Puerto Rico Open, held opposite a World Golf Championship event), and anyone who gets into the top 50 after the Houston Open.

The field now is at 83 players expected to compete, leaving the Masters in good shape to keep the field under 100 players. Still to be determined is whether the Masters will continue to take winners of all PGA Tour events now that five additional events get full FedEx Cup points.

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THE POULTER COLLECTION: The garage in Ian Poulter's expansive new home in Orlando, Fla., might be mistaken for a Ferrari dealership.

Poulter has two of them in the garage at Lake Nona, and he even built a hydraulic lift to stack them on top of each other. Asked how he decides which one to drive, the Ferrari California or the Ferrari FF, he said it depends on how much time he has to bring one down from the lift.

But he's not stopping at two.

"I've got two more coming," he said before leaving the World Challenge in California.

After winning the HSBC Champions and its $1.2 million prize, Poulter said he "already spent the check last week." Turns out it was on a third Ferrari, an Enzo. He didn't get into details as much as he did with the FF, which was customized to include his tartan to line the interior.

As for the fourth Ferrari?

"I'm not going to tell you what it is until I have my hands on it," Poulter said. "It was the first of its type to come off the production line. It was a vehicle I can't say no to. It's a really a special piece."

Poulter doesn't look at the Ferraris as a hobby, the way some people collect fine art or even baseball cards.

"You can say it's a level of investment," he said. "It's one of those cars that's going to stay good forever."

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NBC IN HAWAII: As if the scenery in Hawaii doesn't already make for good television, Tommy Roy plans to take it up a notch.

Roy, the executive producer for golf at NBC Sports, is bringing his crew to Hawaii for the opening two events on the PGA Tour schedule. The Tournament of Champions and Sony Open will be televised by Golf Channel (NBC and Golf Channel are under the Comcast umbrella).

It's the first time Roy has worked golf in Hawaii in 30 years, though he might not get the same unforgettable moment — Isao Aoki holing out a wedge for eagle on the 18th hole to win the Hawaiian Open at Waialae.

"I was in the truck with Aoki holed out," Roy said. "It's pretty exciting to come back on the 30th anniversary."

Roy said he plans to add "quite a few cameras" to better show the mountainous terrain on the Plantation Course at Kapalua for the season opener. NBC used to broadcast from Kapalua when the tournament was part of the silly season in November.

He also is pleased with the camera locations for the Sony Open, which sits along the ocean down from Waikiki Beach. Roy said there would be an 80-foot tower on the 16th fairway for visuals of the 16th green, with the ocean as a backdrop. Behind the green are four skinny palm trees in the shape of a "W" for Waialae, and Roy said he is moving the TV stand that was located at the base of that "W."

The formation of the trees is reminiscent of the "Big W," where the cash was buried in the 1963 movie, "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World."

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CRUISING INTO ROOKIE SEASON: Patrick Reed is wrapping up an unforgettable year next week when he marries Justine Karain, who was with him each step this year as his caddie. Despite having no status, he played 12 times on the PGA Tour, making through Monday qualifying six times. That didn't get him anywhere, so he had to go through the final two stages of Q-school. And despite a slow start in the final stage, he went 68-67-68-67 the last four rounds to barely get his card.

Next up is his Dec. 21, followed by a cruise from Dec. 28 to Jan. 5.

Reed, however, wants to stay sharp for his rookie debut at the Sony Open in Honolulu, so he's bringing his clubs with him on the honeymoon.

"They're going to let me hit balls off a mat and into the ocean," he said.

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DIVOTS: Fred Funk is not done with the kids. The 56-year-old Funk received a sponsor's exemption to play in the Sony Open next month. John Daly also received an exemption into the first full-field event of the 2013 season. ... Two weeks after Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand was co-medalist at Q-school on the LPGA Tour, her 17-year-old sister, Ariya, won the Ladies European Tour qualifying tournament by five shots. ... Arnold Palmer will be writing a regular column for Golf Channel.com. In his first column, the King applauded the USGA and R&A for its ban on anchoring clubs, such as the belly putter. ... The European Tour has launched a Japanese version of its website. It's the first non-European language of the website. ... The Safeway Classic on the LPGA Tour raised $1 million for charity this year, pushing its total to $17 million since 1972, with $14 million of that coming in the last 17 years.

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STAT OF THE WEEK: Zach Johnson is the only American among the top 50 in the world who didn't play anywhere overseas the last two years except the British Open.

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FINAL WORD: "I have never in my life been a schmoozer. That's just not my style. You earn it or you don't. They will or they won't. I just can't go that way." — Larry Nelson, on his chances of ever being a Ryder Cup captain.

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