SA's Justin Harding will be heading to the Masters in April. Photo: Sunshine Tour

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s Justin Harding has earned an invite to the year’s first Major - The Masters at Augusta starting on April 11.

Harding moved up one spot to 48th in the latest World Golf Rankings released on Monday - which earned the player exemption into The Masters. Players inside the top-50 in the rankings on the April 1 cutoff earn automatic invites to the tournament.

Harding won two matches at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas over the weekend. He was unable to advance out of his four-player group though, as Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy progressed as the group winner. 

The two wins, however, earned Harding a tied-17th place finish which was enough to solidify his place in the top-50.

The 33-year-old finished second in the Kenya Open on the European Tour on March 17. It was yet another top finish for Harding after he won the Qatar Masters just a week prior, for his European Tour breakthrough, when he picked up the winner’s cheque of R4.2m.

Since February last year he’s played in 22 countries, registering 16 top-10 finishes in the process. The win in Qatar was his fifth in nine months.

In fact, at the end of 2017 Harding was ranked 712th in the world and in less than two years has already made his way into the world’s elite golfers. 

African News Agency (ANA)