How the pandemic is likely to cost one of the hottest players in the world a spot in the Masters

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fairly easy
Daniel Berger might win the FedEx Cup. That won't get him a spot in the Masters. He could win next month's U.S. Open. Still won't get him into the Masters. How is that possible? Blame a revised schedule and a global pandemic.
Daniel Berger's argument for a spot in the 2020 Masters field is a strong one. He is playing as well as anyone not named Dustin Johnson or Collin Morikawa. He has won a tournament since the last Masters was played. And he is well inside the top 50 in the world.

But Berger is not in the Masters, and he is unlikely to be invited -- even if he were to win next month's U.S. Open.

If you think that is strange, well, you wouldn't be wrong. But isn't just one major championship this season a bit odd too? Isn't the idea of playing six majors in the coming season even more bizarre?

Welcome to the pandemic-influenced golf oddity, one that could leave Berger out of a major championship he might easily win -- if he could be there.

"Yeah, I'm not sure what else I have to do at this point to get into Augusta,'' Berger said last week at the Northern Trust, where he finished third and moved up to 13th in the world and fourth in the FedEx Cup standings heading into this week's BMW Championship. "I'm a little baffled that I haven't had more opportunity to at least hear from some of the guys over there or have a chance, obviously.''

The 70 players who are in this week's BMW Championship and where they stand on the FedEx Cup points list

Cue the laugh track.

Berger must be naive in the ways of Augusta National, which set its 2020 field when the tournament was postponed and then later rescheduled in April to Nov. 12-15. He isn't likely getting an explanation from "the guys.''

At the time, Masters chairman Fred Ridley announced that the field was in place with the final Official World Golf Ranking published in March at the onset of the sports shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. There were 96 players who qualified.

"The field was set, but I don't know,'' Berger said. "I feel like at this point -- I don't know if I could say I deserve a spot, but I feel like I'm playing well enough to earn a spot into the Masters.''

No doubt.

Berger is one of the hottest players in the…
Bob Harig
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