List of invitees released for 2023 Masters Tournament

Augusta National Golf Club Chairman Fred Ridley issued a memo about the 2023 Masters Tournament. Here's what it's about.
Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 10:18 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 20, 2022 at 1:31 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Augusta National Golf Club on Tuesday released the names of players invited to the 2023 Masters Tournament.

It’s a list with many familiar names and crowd favorites, including the legendary Tiger Woods, who made his return to professional golf at this year’s tournament after suffering devastating injuries in a 2021 car accident.

The 2023 tournament will be April 6-9.

Here’s the list:

Also on the list are some past champions who won’t be playing: Tommy Aaron, Jack Burke Jr., Angel Cabrera, Charles Coody, Ben Crenshaw, Nick Faldo, Raymond Floyd, Trevor Immelman, Jack Nicklaus, Mark O’Meara, Gary Player, Craig Stadler, Tom Watson, Ian Woosnam and Fuzzy Zoeller.

Augusta National Golf Club Chairman Fred S. Ridley said in a memo that invitations were sent based on the current criteria, but the memo makes references to controversy in the sport and adds that any future changes will be announced in April.

He didn’t name the controversy, but a likely candidate could be the Saudi-funded LIV Tour, a rival to the PGA Tour. While some golfers have jumped ship to the LIV, others like Woods have been vocal in their criticism of it.

Ridley named Woods and other respected Masters champions who have “become heroes,” “supported the sport” and ”shown respect for those who came before them.”

However, he said recent actions apparently by others “have divided men’s professional golf by diminishing the virtues of the game and the meaningful legacies of those who built it.”

“Although we are disappointed in these developments, our focus is to honor the tradition of bringing together a preeminent field of golfers this coming April,” the memo states.

Fred Ridley, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club
Fred Ridley, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club(Augusta National Golf Club)

According to Ridley’s memo, previous Masters champions and other golfers who qualify but now play on the LIV Tour will be eligible to play in this coming Masters. That would include big names like Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson.

But also according to the memo, that could change for future tournaments if any different criteria are announced in April.

Here’s Ridley’s statement:

From its inception in 1934, the purpose of the Masters Tournament has been to benefit the game of golf. Each April, the Masters assembles the world’s leading golfers to compete for the Green Jacket and a place in history. It provides a stage for fans to experience dramatic moments of competition at the highest level and promotes the sport domestically and abroad.

Through the years, legends of the game have competed and won at Augusta National Golf Club. Champions like Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have become heroes to golfers of all ages. They have inspired some to follow in their footsteps and so many others to play and enjoy the game. They have supported the sport and, thus, all who benefit from it. They have shown respect for those who came before them and blazed a trail for future generations. Golf is better because of them.

Regrettably, recent actions have divided men’s professional golf by diminishing the virtues of the game and the meaningful legacies of those who built it. Although we are disappointed in these developments, our focus is to honor the tradition of bringing together a preeminent field of golfers this coming April.

Therefore, as invitations are sent this week, we will invite those eligible under our current criteria to compete in the 2023 Masters Tournament. As we have said in the past, we look at every aspect of the Tournament each year, and any modifications or changes to invitation criteria for future Tournaments will be announced in April.

We have reached a seminal point in the history of our sport. At Augusta National, we have faith that golf, which has overcome many challenges through the years, will endure again.