Alex Noren, pictured above, began 2016 at No. 96 in the Official World Golf Ranking. After a stellar year that included four victories on the European Tour, Noren ended the year at No. 9 in the world.
He also closed 2016 with an invitation to his first Masters.
Swede Noren and Englishmen Tyrell Hatton, Chris Wood and Andy Sullivan were among 12 players who qualified for the 2017 Masters (April 6-9 at Augusta National) by finishing the year inside the world’s top 50. The Masters will also invite the top 50 as of March 27, 2017
The 12  players, in order of world ranking, are: 
No. 09 Alex Noren
No. 24 Tyrell Hatton
No. 26 Louis Oosthuizen
No. 27 Rafa Cabrera-Bello
No. 31 Francesco Molinari
No. 33 Yuta Ikeda
No. 39 Chris Wood
No. 40 Bernd Wiesberger
No. 41 Bill Haas
No. 44 Andy Sullivan
No. 45 Ben An
No. 47 Thomas Pieters.

Not earning an invite was Thongchai Jaidee, who played last week’s Boonchu Ruangkit Championship on the Asian Development Tour in the hope of moving into the top 50. But Jaidee finished T-6, dropping from 52nd to 54th in the OWGR.
Will McGirt moved from No. 51 to 50 this week, but he was already qualified. As was Kevin Kisner, who dropped a spot to No. 51.