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Daly Will Play in Masters

Colorful veteran qualifies for only the second time in four years, because of a top-10 ranking on the money list.

March 30, 2004|Thomas Bonk | Times Staff Writer

John Daly, who was eligible to play the Masters only once in the previous three years, will be making a return visit to Augusta National next week. The official list of the field of 103 players was announced Monday, and Daly made it -- barely.

Daly qualified because he was in the top 10 on the PGA Tour money list at Monday's deadline. He dropped from ninth to 10th on the list when he finished 70th Sunday at the Players Championship, but the $14,560 he earned was enough to secure his position.

Craig Parry, Todd Hamilton, Trevor Immelman and Brian Davis also qualified by being in the top 50 in the rankings that were released Monday.

Daly won the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines last month, his first PGA Tour victory since his British Open triumph at St. Andrews in 1995.

His last visit to the Masters was two years ago, when he tied for 32nd. He tied for third in 1993, when Bernhard Langer won, but his best finish since was when he tied for 29th in 1996.

A record 43 international players are in the field for the Masters, which will be played April 8-11.

Nick Flanagan of Australia, who won the U.S. Amateur, is among five amateurs who will compete. The others are U.S. Amateur runner-up Casey Wittenberg, British Amateur champion Gary Wolstenholme of England, U.S. Mid Amateur champion Nathan Smith and U.S. Amateur Public Links champion Brandt Snedeker.

Ben Curtis, who won the British Open, and PGA Championship winner Shaun Micheel will be among 17 first-timers at the Masters.

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