Ernie Els would nix Masters invite

Updated: April 3, 2012, 10:42 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Three-time major champion Ernie Els finished 10 under at the Houston Open and fell short in his bid to earn an automatic invitation to this week's Masters. Els needed a victory to avoid missing Augusta for the first time since 1993.

To go through all of this, and then get an invite, I wouldn't take it. They can keep it.

-- Ernie Els

"It's not going to change my life, either way," Els said. "I've played many out there. It's one of those things."

Hunter Mahan won the Houston Open, shooting a 1-under 71 on Sunday to finish 16 under for the tournament.

The Masters could offer a special invitation to Els, like tournament officials did for Greg Norman in 2002.

Els has played well this year, earning top-five finishes at the Transitions and Bay Hill. But he said Sunday he would decline an invitation if he received one at the last minute.

"To go through all of this, and then get an invite, I wouldn't take it," he said. "They can keep it."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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