Despite his Punta Cana win, Graeme McDowell doesn't get in the Masters or Open
PGA Tour

Despite his Punta Cana win, Graeme McDowell doesn’t get in the Masters or Open

Graeme McDowell is back in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour, picking up the 2019 Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in the Dominican Republic.

The Ulsterman won the PGA Tour's opposite-field event, played at the same time as the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. With the win, McDowell gets a two-season extension on his PGA Tour card, and he picks up his first win since the 2015 Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico.

However, the win doesn't get Graeme McDowell into the 2019 Masters or into the 2019 British Open Championship at his home club, Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.

Wins in opposite-field events are not recognized by Augusta National Golf Club for earning an invitation to the Masters; only events awarding at least 500 FedEx Cup points to the winner earn an invitation. A win in an opposite-field PGA Tour event only nets 300 FedEx Cup points.

The R&A, which runs the British Open Championship, does not give invitations to players solely based on PGA Tour wins. Rather, they award spots in the game's oldest major championship by virtue of high finishes (and not already being eligible) in a number of specified worldwide golf tournaments as part of the Open Qualifying Series. Opposite-field events are not included in that series.

McDowell gets in the US Open as a result of his 2010 win at Pebble Beach, which gives him a 10-year exemption into the championship. However, winning an opposite-field event would not have gotten McDowell into the US Open on its own merits.

The PGA of America does give an exemption into the PGA Championship to a winner of any PGA Tour event since the last PGA Championship, so G-Mace is now in the field for Bethpage Black in May. And McDowell gets in The Players, too, with his win.

The uptick in McDowell's world ranking status can help him qualify for the Open, but he'll still have plenty of work to do to get in the field at Portrush in July.

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