Jason Day will play in the 2023 Masters after missing the tournament last year. Jared C Tilton
Come Monday, Jason Day will have more to celebrate than his strong recent form and deep run into this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. According to a tweet on Saturday by Official World Golf Ranking social media guru Nosferatu, Day is among four players who had not otherwise qualified for the Masters but will make it to Augusta National by being in the top 50 in the OWGR on March 27.
Nosferatu based the projection on the fact the final eight players had been determined in the Match Play in Austin.
With 7 of the last 8 at the #DellMatchPlay being from Top 50 in the world, it means that the picture of the last 2023 @TheMasters qualifiers via top 50 is now clear.
who are through to Augusta! #OWGR pic.twitter.com/DUWzAWWxpC
— Nosferatu (@VC606) March 25, 2023
The other players who are now official for the Masters are Harris English, projected at No. 44, Keith Mitchell (46th) and Min Woo Lee (47th).
At this point, the only other path to get into the Masters is for the player who wins next week’s Valero Texas Open, if he hasn’t otherwise qualified.
Day, who was playing in the quarter-finals on Saturday afternoon, entered the week easily in the top 50 at No. 37 after posting four top-10 finishes so far in 2023. It’s been an impressive turnaround after a difficult 2022, when he finished the year 112th in the OWGR.
On the other side of the line, Australian Lucas Herbert will be the most disappointed. The 27-year-old started the Match Play week at No. 56, and despite reaching the Match Play quarter-finals, Nosferatu projected him finishing at 51st in the rankings and missing a chance at a second Masters start after he missed the cut last year.
Day, 33, didn’t qualify for the 2022 Masters, missing the tournament after 11 straight starts there. The 2015 PGA Championship winner has four top-10s at Augusta but has missed two consecutive cuts.
English, 33, a Georgia native, has played in three Masters, with a T-21 his best finish in 2021. This will be Mitchell’s second Masters, with the 31-year-old’s first start coming in 2019. Lee, 24, tied for 14th in his Augusta debut last year.
If you have to go out, you might as well go out on top, and there’s nothing that would stir the appetite for an eventual match-play resuscitation — be it next year, 2025, or somewhere down the line — than a final that leaves us wanting more.