Scott to face record field at 2014 Masters

Augusta National is raising the bar a fraction when Adam Scott returns in April for the defence of his US Masters title.

The popular Queenslander, currently ranked No. 2 in the world, may face a field of more than 100 players, the first time in more than 50 years that has been the case.

Adam Scott Adam Scott (Credit: Anthony Powter)

And while quite a few of those 100 are undoubtedly little chance of contending for the title, 14 players were added to the field at the end of 2013 following the release of the final world rankings for the year.

Among those who qualified by being in the top 50 of the final rankings for the year were Thomas Bjorn, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Hideki Matsuyama, Jamie Donaldson, Victor Dubuisson, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Francesco Molinari, Rickie Fowler, Matteo Manassero, David Lynn, Thongchai Jaidee, Peter Hanson, Joost Luiten and Branden Grace.

So with several months to go, the Masters field already has 90 confirmed competitors for the first major of the year.

The last time there was a field this big was the 1966 Masters when 103 players faced the starter.

And while this is the smallest field of all the majors, quite a few more players can qualify by winning PGA Tour events early in 2014 or by getting themselves in the top 50 players in the world right up until the week before the Masters, April 10-13.

Rickie Fowler was the only American of the 14 invited from the world ranking, although two others, Peter Hanson and David Lynn, were PGA Tour members.

The criteria for the Masters did change this year.

Because the PGA Tour went to a wraparound season (October through September), the Masters committee awarded spots to the winners of tournaments held in their ‘fall’ season. Jimmy Walker, Ryan Moore and Chris Kirk qualified by winning those events.

The other winners of fall events – Webb Simpson, Dustin Johnson and Harris English were already eligible for the Masters.