Baddeley, Endycott scrapping for Masters berth in Texas


Australians Aaron Baddeley and Harrison Endycott have one last chance to book a Masters ticket at the Texas Open in TPC San Antonio.

The winner of this week's PGA Tour event will earn the last spot in the field for the season's first major championship starting next Thursday at Augusta National.

Veteran Baddeley and second-year PGA Tour player Endycott are up against four of the world's top 10 stars, including Rory McIlroy.

But while McIlroy, who needs a green jacket to complete a career grand slam, is again heading to Georgia, American Billy Horschel is one of the bigger names still chasing a Masters berth.

Horschel hasn't missed a major championship since 2018. He's played in nine of the past 10 Masters, with a career-best finish of equal 17th in ???.

But the 37-year-old is facing a new reality following a rough 2022-23 season. Unless and until he plays better golf, he won't be in any major field.

Horschel arrived at this week's Texas Open at No.80 in the Official World Golf Ranking; had he been inside the top 50 at this point, he would qualify for next week's Masters.

The only way for him to get back is to win the Texas Open - and Horschel is plenty aware.

"Yeah, I'm not in Augusta and my main focus this week is to win," Horschel said on Tuesday.

Horschel made just 13 cuts in 23 starts in the 2022-23 tour season and notched three top-10 finishes. He didn't make the FedEx Cup playoffs, leaving him on the outside looking in at the tour's Signature Events to start 2024.

"Yeah, I'm not happy that I'm not in Augusta or any of the majors as we sit here right now, but listen, it's my own fault," he said.

He's begun making up for that bad year by putting together a strong March. He tied for ninth at the Cognizant Classic, tied for 12th at the Valspar Championship and rallied to a tie for seventh at last week's Texas Children's Houston Open with a final-round 64. So he's already two-thirds of the way to last season's top-10 total.

Now Horschel will play the Texas Open for the first time since 2019. He has three top-five finishes at the event in his career.

Former world No.1 Adam Scott, Australia's only ever Masters winner, is also in this week's field.

Mixing up his Masters preparation, Scott is playing in Texas, where he won in 2010, for the first time in six years.

"It is nice to come back, nice to remind myself when I see myself with a trophy in the clubhouse and stuff like that that there's some good golf in there," Scott said.

"Hopefully I find myself playing some good golf here this week leading into Augusta, which is obviously on everyone's mind."

With AAP