Eagle launches Thai Aphibarnrat into Masters
(Reuters) - Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat eagled the final hole at the Indonesian Masters on Sunday to earn a place in April's Masters, based on a world rankings projection.
The top 50 at year's end earn invitations to the first major of the year at Augusta National.
Aphibarnrat finished fifth in Indonesia, moving up to 51st in the latest world rankings, but the European Tour's Director of Data Management, Ian Barker, who compiles the rankings, said by email that the Thai will rise to 49th in the year-end list.
The projection is possible because there are no tournaments for the rest of the year that will affect the top 50.
The rankings change every week, even when there are no tournaments, because the formula used to calculate them is weighted more heavily towards recent results.
Japan's Yusaku Miyazato also secured a spot in the Masters by finishing fourth in Indonesia. He improved from 58th to 52nd in the world, and is projected to end the year 50th.
Others not previously exempt who will finish in the top 50 and qualify for Augusta are Englishmen Tyrrell Hatton, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Ross Fisher, Swede Alex Noren, South African Branden Grace, Japan's Yuta Ikeda and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger.
Players who are not exempt can still qualify for the Masters by moving into the top 50 in the world the week before the tournament, which will be played from April 5-8.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris)
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