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Scottish golf fans are facing the prospect of having nobody to root for at The Masters.

The first major of the year gets under way two weeks today and, as things stand, there is not a single Scottish golfer in the field.

Unless that changes between now and the first shots being struck, it will be the first time in 40 YEARS that there has been no Scottish representation at Augusta National.

Currently, Robert MacIntyre and Martin Laird are the only players with a realistic chance of making it, but both require a victory at this week’s Houston Open or next week’s Texas Open to punch their tickets.

The only remaining places in the field are for the winners of those events or those players not already qualified but who are inside the world’s top-50 by this Monday.

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With MacIntyre currently top Scot on the rankings in 74th place and Laird trailing in 154th, it looks like win or bust for their Masters hopes and those of the home of golf.

You have to go all the way back to 1984 for the last time the tournament went ahead without a Scot in the field.

Sandy Lyle made his fourth appearance the following year and has been a constant presence ever since, thanks in no small part to his victory in 1988.

However, he announced ahead of last year’s tournament that 2023 would be his final time taking part.

The Masters is one of the most notoriously difficult tournaments to qualify for. Not only does it have the smallest field of all the majors, a significant number of spots are reserved for former winners and stand-out amateur performers.

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Other criteria are heavily weighted towards achievements on the PGA Tour – winning events on the US-based circuit or qualifying for its season-ending Tour Championship, for example – and with only MacIntyre and Laird as card-holders on the circuit, Scots’ golfers of sealing an invite to The Masters are naturally weakened.

Since the turn of the century, only ten different Scots have featured in The Masters: Lyle, MacIntyre and Laird, as well as Colin Montgomerie, Russell Knox, Stephen Gallacher, Paul Lawrie, Bradley Neil, Richie Ramsay and Stuart Wilson. The last three of those earned their way as amateurs.

Representation before then was not especially strong either. Not including golfers in the Augusta record-books as ‘Scottish-American’, the only other Scots to have played in The Masters are: Craig Watson, Sam Torrance, Gordon Sherry and Stephen Dundas, as well as Ken Brown, Harry Bannerman, Bernard Gallacher and David Blair.

With a total of 42 starts to his name, Lyle is, by some way, the Scot with the most Masters starts, followed by Montgomerie with 15.

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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