had to clarify a tweet from Sunday that said: "Thank you for a Great
Xmas present! @TheMasters Can't wait!"
That led several media sites to
post stories that Els, a four-time major champion, had received a
special exemption into the Masters.
Instead, the 48-year-old South
African received a letter welcoming him as an honorary invitee. His
five-year exemption into the Masters from winning the 2012 Open
Championship ended last year. Augusta National has a tradition of inviting past major
champions as honorary guests for the week.
Els tweeted on Monday: "Wanted to clarify my excitement getting an invite from @TheMasters. Work continues to qualify to compete!
National occasionally awards exemptions to international players, but
those typically are given to players who are not full PGA Tour members
and have multiple avenues to qualify on their own. Among ways for PGA
Tour members to qualify for the Masters are winning tournaments that
offer full FedEx Cup points, reaching the Tour Championship or getting
into the top 50 in the world ranking at various cutoff points.
inclusion of Honorary Invitees has been a great tradition at the
Masters Tournament for many years," Augusta National chairperson Fred
"This coming year the list includes Ernie Els, and we are
once again excited to welcome him and all of these distinguished guests
to Augusta National in April."
The Masters pays homage to major
champions more than any of the other majors by giving them special
access as honorary invitees that includes two clubhouse badges, a $1 000
honorarium and a gift to commemorate them being there.
Honorary invitees used to be able to play practice rounds and compete in the Par 3 Tournament, a practice that ended last year.
Els failed to qualify for the 2012 Masters and was not given a special exemption.