24 Mar '12, 2pm

Ernie Els deserves invitation to Masters Tournament

By Scott Michaux Sports Columnist The greatest South African major champion will take his honorary place on Augusta National’s first tee with his Big Three mates. The newest South African superstar will be serving braai to his fellow Masters Tournament champions. What’s currently missing for the 76th Masters is the bridge between Gary Player and Charl Schwartzel – Ernie Els. For the first time since 1994 when he finished eighth as a Masters rookie two months before claiming the first of three major titles at the U.S. Open, Els isn’t qualified to participate in the Masters. After 18 seasons of being one of the most endearing figures at Augusta, tournament officials haven’t seemed inclined to throw the Big Easy a lifeline with a special exemption. “The deal is you’ve got to qualify for the Masters – all the players know that,” said Els, who was within two pars of doing just ...

Full article: http://www.augusta.com/masters/story/news/ernie-els-deser...

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