The field for the 2023 Masters got a little bigger overnight with two golfers accepting special invitations.
Sargent, a sophomore at Vanderbilt University, is the reigning NCAA champion. He turned heads last May, not only by winning the individual title as a freshman, but by registering a staggering 194mph ball speed off the tee on the final hole of regulation.
Sargent, 19, is the first amateur to accept a special invitation to the Masters since Australia’s Aaron Baddeley in 2000. The Masters traditionally invites the reigning US Amateur champion and runner-up, along with the winners of the British Amateur, US Mid-Amateur, Asia-Pacific Amateur and Latin America Amateur. The reigning NCAA champion has not received the same treatment, but perhaps this is a sign that that might change moving forward.
Higa, 27, has six career wins on the Japan Golf Tour, including four victories in 2022 when he finished first on the tour’s Order of Merit. He is currently 68th in the Official World Golf Ranking.
There are now 80 golfers who have qualified and are expected to compete at the 87th Masters, which is scheduled for April 6-9. The field will be filled out by anyone winning a PGA Tour event before then that awards full FedEx Cup points, the top 50 in the OWGR the week before the Masters and the 2023 Latin America Amateur champion, with that event scheduled for next week.