Rickie Fowler finished his rookie season ranked No. 28 in the world.
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Monday, December 20, 2010

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Rickie Fowler and Sean O'Hair are the only Americans among 13 players who have qualified for the Masters through the world ranking.

There are no tournaments the rest of the year, so the final 2010 ranking became available Monday.

The Masters invites players who are in the top 50 at the end of the year. The criteria is mainly for international players who are not PGA Tour members and have fewer avenues to qualify, such as winning a tour event or getting into the FedEx Cup finale.

O'Hair started the year No. 15 and did not win a tournament or reach the Tour Championship. He ended the year at No. 43. Fowler finished his first full year as a pro at No. 28 on the strength of two runner-up finishes.

The 13 additional qualifiers include Francesco and Edoardo Molinari, Robert Karlsson, Charl Schwartzel and Ryo Ishikawa.

That brings to 92 the number of players who have qualified for the Masters, which has the smallest field of the four majors. Augusta National prefers to keep its field at about 100.

Players still can qualify for the Masters by getting into the top 50 a week before the tournament, or winning a PGA Tour event that offers full FedEx Cup points.

The Masters will be played April 7-10, with Phil Mickelson the defending champion and Tiger Woods trying to end his longest drought without a major or a green jacket. Woods last won the Masters in 2005, and he has gone 10 majors without winning.

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