Should Augusta extend the invite to the Big Easy?

Barring a Win this week in Huston it's looking like Ernie will need an invitation to play in the Masters.  We all know he's got a storied career and a hall of famer.  He's never missed a Masters, but didn't play well enough to get in on merit.  I'm a fan of Ernie, and I love the charity work he does, but in my humble opinion, you shouldn't get in unless you qualify.  What are your thoughts?

I agree with everything you said.  Ernie is a great guy that does deserve to play in the masters, but playing as Augusta is a gift and you have to earn it.  Like Mr. Palmer said "He does deserve an invite, but if you give him one it just makes it that much to give out other invites and then you get filled up with too many people."  Like I said "Playing at Augusta is a gift, and you should have to earn it."

I'm happy to see Els playing so much better of late.  He still has a chance to merit it this week.  If not, I've got a feeling (particularly if that putter gets hot) that he will do some real damage this year and earn a spot in 2013.  He's a great guy, and great fun to watch.

I am also a fan of Ernie - the big easy.  I would agree with you as a fan and because his playing well.  Last year he made the cut, but finished T47 with +5 score.  I love to see him play at the US Master.  He surely the game for it, maybe except for his putting at the moment. 

This years US Masters should be really exciting with Rory, TW, Stricker, Adam, Luke, Dustin, Lee, Hunter, Bubba, Phil .... and the list goes on.  I can't wait for the show to start.

I agree.  If you start sending invites to people that don't qualify, you open up a can of worms.  For example, if you invite Ernie, do you then have to invite Duval?  They are very similar in terms of wins/cuts/2nd place, etc.....  I think we can all say Duval doesn't deserve an invite.

I agree Ernie does some awesome work outside golf that gets him some feathers in his hat. BUT, Augusta isn't about feathers.  It's about people that best put the white ball 6" below the putting surface.

CP

I tend to think that one of the reasons Ernie hasn't played up to snuff is all of the Autism work he has been doing the last few years.  He has finally gotten to a point with that where he can concentrate on golf again and that is showing in his results of late.  I tend to think that if Bobby Jones was still around he would personally deliver his invitation not only for the form he has shown as of late, but for the great work he has done in the world around autism and other worthy efforts.   Just my 2 cents

I agree with ... "you shouldn't get in unless you qualify"

I wondered what Ernie thought, and here's a quote I found online, "I can't blame the Masters people for not inviting me. I've put myself in this position by not playing very well." In the same article it said that back in 2002 Norman was given a special invite and Ishikawa is receiving one already this year. It is an "invitational" that has qualifications along with committee discretion to invite whoever they want. "The Masters" as an event has been doing a lot to promote themselves and provide for more coverage, more interest, and more excitement...personally, the way Ernie has been playing as of late, he'd make a great potential story and could qualify in my mind as a legitimate consideration for an invite. But it would be super cool to see him win this week in Houston so there wouldn't have to be the option.

I don't agree. The masters is an invitational tournament which means they are going to invite x number of players that don't meet the qualification criteria. I think that what they r trying to do is get Asia and younger golf regions involved, but Ernie should have been invited regardless. He has played very well this year.