Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, announced today that Shugo Imahira of Japan has accepted an invitation to compete in the 2019 Masters, marking his first appearance in the Tournament. The order of merit winner on the Japan Golf Tour in 2018, Imahira, 26, is currently ranked 53rd in the Official World Golf Ranking.
“Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts established the Masters as a global sporting event, so throughout our history special invitations for deserving international players have always been carefully considered,” said Ridley. “We are pleased to continue this tradition by welcoming Shugo Imahira to our field this year based on his impressive record during the past 12 months. We look forward to hosting him and all of our Masters competitors in April.”
Imahira is consistently at the top of leader boards on his home tour in Japan. Last year alone, he collected 14 top-10 finishes. In October, he won his second career title at the Bridgestone Open, which included birdies on the final three holes to win by one shot. His other win came at the 2017 Kansai Open Golf Championship, winning by six strokes.
As of today, the field stands at 80 players. There are two remaining ways to qualify for the 2019 Masters: winners of PGA Tour events that award a full-point allocation for the season-ending Tour Championship and the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking published during the week prior to the Masters.
The 83rd Masters is scheduled for April 8 – 14. A full listing of invitees may be found by visiting masters.com.