Korean Players on the Wane at Masters

About five Korean golfers including John Huh, who is of Korean descent, will compete at this year's Masters, but the future looks bleaker as none are likely to appear at Augusta National next year.

Those invited this year include Choi Kyung-ju, Yang Yong-eun, Bae Sang-moon, Lee Chang-woo and Huh.

Choi Kyung-ju and Lee Chang-woo walk during a practice round prior to the start of the 2014 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia on Monday. /Getty Images Choi Kyung-ju and Lee Chang-woo walk during a practice round prior to the start of the 2014 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia on Monday. /Getty Images

Choi, who will compete in his 12th consecutive Masters this year, will have his three-year automatic invitation, which he earned after winning the 2011 Players Championship, expire after this year.

Yang's five-year automatic invitation to the Masters, which he received after winning the 2009 PGA Championship, will also come to an end.

By winning the HP Byron Nelson Championship last year, Bae earned an invitation to this year's Masters.

Lee qualified this year as the winner of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship last year, while Huh, who finished 11th on his Masters debut in 2013, earned a spot at this year's event as one of the top 12 finishers.

The top 50 players according to the world golf rankings qualify for the Masters but Kim Hyung-sung, who plays on the Japan Golf Tour, is currently the highest-placed Korean golfer at No. 82. Choi is 98th, Bae 123rd, and Yang, who is coming off a two-year slump, 356th.

Choi held practice rounds on Monday with Lee, who is set to make his Masters debut. "We should press on to keep the tradition of having Korean golfers play in the Masters each year, and to have a presence at next year's Presidents Cup as well," said Choi.

Meanwhile, Park In-bee, the world No. 1 in the women's rankings, will visit Augusta during the Masters to receive the 2013 Female Player of the Year award by the Golf Writers Association of America.

englishnews@chosun.com / Apr. 09, 2014 11:24 KST