Golf News

Vanderbilt’s Gordon Sargent accepts special invitation to Masters

2022 Masters Tournament

There are now 80 golfers who have received invitations to the 2023 Masters Tournament.

Count reigning NCAA champion Gordon Sargent of Vanderbilt among them.

Sargent and six-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour, Kazuki Higa, were announced by Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, on Thursday morning as the two latest invites. Both will be making their Masters debuts.

“The Masters Tournament prioritizes opportunities to elevate both amateur and professional golf around the world. Thus, we have extended invitations to two deserving players not otherwise qualified,” Ridley said in a statement released by the club. “Whether on the international stage or at the elite amateur level, each player has showcased their talent in the past year. We look forward to hosting them at Augusta National in April.”

Sargent, 19, is a sophomore at Vanderbilt who won the individual title at the 2022 NCAAs in Scottsdale, Arizona, after surviving a four-way playoff. He is the first freshman to win the national title since 2007 and the first amateur to accept a special invitation to the Masters since 2000. There were six amateurs in the field in 2022.

Higa, 27, won four times on the Japan Golf Tour in 2022, and has six wins on the circuit in all. He finished first on the tour’s Order of Merit last year.

There are still spots in the 2023 Masters up for grabs, including the winner of the 2023 Latin America Amateur Championship, winners of upcoming PGA Tour events as well as those who are ranked in the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking the week prior to the Masters, which is April 6-9.


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