After COVID-19 led to cancellation of 3 key amateur events last year, only 3 non-professionals will compete at Augusta National
The Masters Tournament was founded 87 years ago with a tradition that celebrated amateur golfers. The late Bobby Jones, the 1930 Grand Slam winner and a lifelong amateur who co-founded Augusta National Golf Club, competed in the first 12 Masters, from 1934 to 1948.
Through the years, amateurs have played prominent roles in the Masters, especially during an era when the Walker Cup team members were extended invitations. In the 1966 Masters, a record 26 amateurs competed. Occasionally, an amateur even made a spirited run at the green jacket. Most notably, Frank Stranahan finished co-runner-up in 1947, Billy Joe Patton tied for third in 1954 and Ken Venturi placed second in 1956. Charlie Coe, a former Augusta National member, recorded nine top-25 results in 19 Masters appearances, including a tie for second in 1961.
Because of COVID-19 and its effects on the 2020 amateur tournament schedule, the 2021 Masters will be light on amateurs. Only three non-professionals were extended invitations to this year’s Masters. It will be one of the smallest amateur fields in tournament history.
Tyler Strafaci, the U.S. Amateur champion, and runner-up Ollie Osborne will join British Amateur winner Joe Long as the only amateurs scheduled to compete in the April 8-11 Masters.
Typically, the winners of the Latin America Amateur, Asia-Pacific Amateur and U.S. Mid-Amateur have been extended invitations, but those tournaments were not played in 2020, cutting the amateur invitations in half.
Here is a look at the three amateurs who will compete in the 2021 Masters, including how they qualified:
Joe Long, 23, Bristol, England: Never trailed in winning the British Amateur, 4 and 3, in an all-England final against Joe Harvey in a scheduled 36-hole match at Royal Birkdale … No. 47 in World Amateur Golf Ranking.
Charles “Ollie” Osborne, 20, Reno, Nev.: Southern Methodist sophomore finished runner-up in the 2020 U.S. Amateur, losing on the 36th hole to Tyler Strafaci. … has won two tournaments in college … No. 252 in World Amateur Golf Ranking.
Tyler Strafaci, 23, Davie, Fla.: Georgia Tech graduate won the 2020 U.S. Amateur, defeating Ollie Osborne, 1 up, on the 36th hole … Strafaci (pronounced struh-FAH-chee) also won the North & South Amateur and Palmetto Amateur titles last year … will compete for the U.S. in the Walker Cup Match on May 8-9 at Seminole Golf Club, not far from his home in southeast Florida, before turning professional … No. 13 in World Amateur Golf Ranking.
For a look at the entire field, click here.
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