With the final worldwide tournaments of 2018 in the books, it’s now known how the Official World Golf Ranking will shape up heading into the new year. And the results mean that veterans Emiliano Grillo and Branden Grace are among a group of players who can officially book travel plans for the Masters.
The top 50 in the year-end OWGR earn an exemption into the first major of the new year. Barely making it inside that cutoff are Grillo, who started the year ranked 73rd but will end it 47th after four top-15 finishes in his last five starts, and Grace, who did just enough over the last two weeks in South Africa to end the year ranked No. 49.
Other players who were not otherwise exempt for the Masters but will start 2019 inside the top 50 in the world include Alex Noren, Tyrrell Hatton, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Eddie Pepperell, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Ian Poulter, Haotong Li, Thorbjorn Olesen, Matt Wallace and Lucas Bjerregaard.
Updated Official World Golf Ranking
Brandt Snedeker will end the year at No. 50, one year after his globetrotting trip to Indonesia in order to crack the top 50 came up short. But Snedeker was already into the Masters from his win at the Wyndham Championship, as is Aaron Wise who will end the year at No. 51 but will still make his Masters debut by virtue of his win at the AT&T Byron Nelson in May.
At No. 52, Byeong-Hun An will start the year as the highest-ranked player not yet qualified for the Masters. Other notables on the outside of the top-50 cutoff include No. 53 Brian Harman, No. 62 Pat Perez and No. 63 Lee Westwood.
Once the calendar hits 2019, the paths to Augusta National will be few. Players will need to either win a full-point PGA Tour event, reach the top 50 in the world rankings by the end of March or receive a special exemption from the club.