Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Updated: March 22, 6:50 AM ET
Duo hoping to qualify for Masters
AGADIR, Morocco -- Robert Rock of England and Matteo Manassero of Italy are both playing the Hassan II Trophy in Morocco this week needing a win to qualify for the Masters next month.
Rock and Manassero are the only golfers competing on the King of Morocco's Royal Course in Agadir who can qualify for the Masters at Augusta National.
Rock lies 57th in the world rankings and Manassero 61st, and either must win to be inside the top 50 and gain direct entry into the year's opening major.
"Augusta and qualifying for the Masters is the reason why I played in Spain last week and I'm here this week in Morocco," Rock said.
"The only way I can now really get into the Masters is to win this week, and given how well I played in the Andalucia Open, I'm quietly confident of doing enough to get myself inside the top-50.
"I have left it a bit late to try and get myself into the Masters, but I'm sure I will be well inside the top 50 by the time the U.S. Open comes around (in June). But having to achieve that goal this week is going to be a bit hard, but at least it gives me something to focus on."
Rock dropped one place in the rankings in finishing tied for 17th in last week's Andalucia Open.
The 18-year-old Manassero picked up two places in finishing second to Frenchman Julien Quesne.
Quesne was also in Morocco after winning his maiden European Tour title.
"Everything has been great these last two days and I can't believe the amount of people who have congratulated me and that is very special," Quesne said.
David Horsey of England will defend his Hassan II Trophy title this week, after beating 2010 champ Rhys Davies of Wales in a playoff last year.