South African duo Ernie Els and Retief Goosen could miss the opening Major of the 2012 season, the US Masters, as they have slid down the world rankings.
Both have played a central role in Masters history over more than a decade, but the 42-year-olds could miss the tournament, which Rory McIlroy is 8/1 with bookmaker to win next year, after slipping outside the world’s top 50 players.
The duo have both come close to winning the competition in the past. Els finished runner-up in the event in 2000 and 2004, while Goosen’s record is even more impressive, having recorded two third-place finishes in addition to coming second in 2002 and 2007.
Three-time Major champion Els has played in every Masters since starting out as a professional in the early 1990s but has slipped to 56th in the world after managing just one top-ten finish in 2011.
Goosen is just three places ahead of him in the standings and both need to win on the PGA Tour or muscle their way into the top 50 early in 2012.