Matt Jones punches Masters ticket but Rickie Fowler still floundering

The Aussie is heading to Augusta after winning the Honda Classic but time is nearly up for Fowler after a poor Florida Swing

If you're not already in, there are very few ways to still book a place in the 2021 Masters.

But Matt Jones took one of them when taking victory in the Honda Classic on Sunday.

Of course, the prestige of a PGA TOUR win was the main prize on offer at PGA National. But as bonuses go, getting a place in the field for Augusta national was right up there.

Jones has played The Masters just once and missed the cut. That was back in 2014 and he left it even later that year, only qualifying the week before after capturing The Houston Open.

As the Aussie recalled after his Honda win: "I can't really remember the golf course. I can't remember much about that week. It was all a blur, so I'm looking forward to getting some preparation on the course this year."

Jones jumped from 83rd to 49th in the Official World Golf Rankings thanks to his impressive five-shot win in Florida. And, not that it matters now for the Australian, being in the world's top 50 in the week prior to The Masters is the 19th and final qualification method listed on the official site.

No.18 is being in the top world's top 50 at the end of the previous calendar year.

Others include finishing in the top 12 in last year's Masters along with a top four in any of the other 2020 Majors.

A final safety net for the game's elite is being one of the 30 players who qualified for the 2020 Tour Championship.

Fowler set to miss out

Right now, Rickie Fowler doesn't meet any of those criteria.

The Californian was 53rd in the world rankings at the end of 2020 so fell short on that front. But the belief that Fowler would put that right in 2021 by nudging up three spots has almost run out.

The 32-year-old went into the Florida Swing ranked 65th. There was plenty of hope as the Sunshine State has been kind to him down the years.

It just hasn't worked out though. Fowler finished 72nd in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, missed the cut at THE PLAYERS Championship and had to settle for tied 65th in the Honda Classic.

He comes out of the Florida Swing down at 90th, a drop of 25 spots.

Now, Fowler has Nick Faldo on his back. The three-time Masters champion appeared to have a pop when saying that golfers should concentrate on playing rather than lucrative commercial deals.

Faldo said later he was merely trying to light a fire under Fowler, comments that the player responded to with his usual dignity.

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But time is almost up and he knows it.

"I'm going to keep kicking down the door, if we're able to do something special in the next few weeks before Augusta, we'll be there. If not, we'll keep grinding and we'll be back in the winner's circle soon," he said during the Honda Classic.

Fowler is talking a good game but now he needs to start playing one.

When Jones missed the cut in 2014, Fowler made a run at the Green Jacket, finishing in a tie for fifth.

He famously made the top five in all four majors that season. How different it's looking seven years on.

READ MORE: Florida Swing results could hold secret to who wins Masters

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