Els invited to Augusta National, but not to play Masters

File-This July 20, 2017, file photo shows South Africa's Ernie Els playing a tee shot on the 5th hole during the first round of the British Open Golf Championship, at Royal Birkdale, Southport, England. Els says received an invitation to Augusta National the first week in April. It just wasn’t an invitation to play in the Masters. Els had to clarify a tweet from Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, that said, “Thank you for a Great Xmas present! @TheMasters Can't wait!” That led several media sites to post stories that the four-time major champion had received a special exemption into the Masters. Instead, Els had received a letter welcoming him as an honorary invitee. His five-year exemption into the Masters from his 2012 British Open victory ended last year. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson, File)

Ernie Els says he received an invitation to Augusta National for the first week in April. It just wasn’t an invitation to play in the Masters.

Els had to clarify a tweet from Sunday that said: “Thank you for a Great Xmas present! TheMasters Can’t wait!” That led several media sites to post stories that the four-time major champion had received a special exemption into the Masters.

Instead, Els had received a letter welcoming him as an honorary invitee. His five-year exemption into the Masters from his 2012 British Open victory ended last year.

Els tweeted Monday : “Work continues to qualify to compete!”

Augusta National typically invites former major champions to the club during the Masters. They used to be able to play practice rounds and the Par 3 Tournament until that practice ended last year.

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