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Preview: Hassan II Golf Trophy

 

Manassero, Rock hoping Morocco leads to Augusta

AGADIR, Morocco (AP) 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.

Also entered was John Daly, who will play the opening two rounds with fellow major winners Michael Campbell and Rich Beem.

Daly believes he is fully recovered from elbow tendons he tore in hitting a tree root during the final round of the Avantha Masters in India a month ago.

``It wasn't till I got back home and had an X-ray that I realized the tendons were all pretty well torn,'' he said Wednesday.

``I went and visited a doctor in Tampa (Fla.), who gave me a cortisone injection the Sunday before (last week's) Transitions Championship. ...

``I started hitting balls last week but it wasn't until Saturday I could hit a deck 2-iron. But it feels real good after playing a practice round this morning so hopefully I should be OK.''

Daly indicated he will play in next week's Sicilian Open and then head to Augusta as a retailer of his designer line of clothing and accessories.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
Hassan II Trophy field
Frank AdamsFelipe AguilarFredrik Andersson Hed
Matthew BaldwinRich BeemRichard Bland
Knut BorsheimGregory BourdyGary Boyd
Markus BrierMichael CampbellJorge Campillo
Alejandro CanizaresChristian CevaerRobert Coles
Federico ColomboJohn DalyRhys Davies
Eduardo De La RivaCarlos Del MoralDaniel Denison
Robert-Jan DerksenDavid DixonAndrew Dodt
Jamie DonaldsonBradley DredgeDavid Drysdale
Edouard DuboisVictor DubuissonJohan Edfors
Younes El HassaniMustapha El MaouasNiclas Fasth
Kenneth FerrieRichard FinchOliver Fisher
Tommy FleetwoodOscar FlorenMark Foster
Marcus FraserLorenzo GagliStephen Gallacher
Jordi GarciaIgnacio GarridoJean-Baptiste Gonnet
Estanislao GoyaBranden GraceRichard Green
Soren HansenGregory HavretBenjamin Hebert
Peter HedblomTetsuji HiratsukaMichael Hoey
Keith HorneDavid HorseySam Hutsby
Mikko IlonenMasamichi ItoRaphael Jacquelin
Thongchai JaideeScott JamiesonAndrew Johnston
Michael JonzonSimon KhanDo-hoon Kim
James KingstonJbe' KrugerJose Manuel Lara
Pablo LarrazabalPeter LawrieCraig Lee
Thomas LevetSam LittleShane Lowry
Joost LuitenDavid LynnMatteo Manassero
Andrew MarshallPablo MartinGareth Maybin
Richard McEvoyPaul McGinleyDamien McGrane
Edoardo MolinariFrancesco MolinariJames Morrison
Jamie MoulGarth MulroyMark Murphy
George MurrayChristian NilssonAlexander Noren
Steven O'HaraTim O'NealThorbjorn Olesen
Gary OrrHennie OttoAndrea Pavan
Phillip PriceJulien QuesneRichie Ramsay
Robert RockBrett RumfordRicardo Santos
Faycal SerghiniJake ShepherdMarcel Siem
Jeev Milkha SinghJoel SjoholmLee Slattery
Richard SterneGraeme StormAndy Sullivan
Peter UihleinJaco Van ZylAnthony Wall
Marc WarrenRomain WattelSteve Webster
Peter WhitefordBernd WiesbergerDanny Willett
Oliver WilsonChris WoodFabrizio Zanotti
Strength of field
World RankPlayersNo. in Field
TOP 10None0
TOP 25None0
TOP 50Francesco Molinari (29),Branden Grace (34),Matteo Manassero (43),David Lynn (45),Jamie Donaldson (47),Thorbjorn Olesen (50)6
TOP 100Alexander Noren (51),Richie Ramsay (55),Shane Lowry (57),Marcus Fraser (58),Marcel Siem (62),Bernd Wiesberger (68),Pablo Larrazabal (78),Fredrik Andersson Hed (88),Jeev Milkha Singh (93),Danny Willett (94),Stephen Gallacher (95),Robert Rock (96),Thongchai Jaidee (100)13