Last chance saloon for Masters hopefuls

Hassan Trophy in Morocco offers chance to qualify for first major of the year

Rafael Cabrera-Bello

Rafael Cabrera-Bello


Rafa Cabrera-Bello is targeting success at the Hassan II Trophy as he bids to ensure his debut in next month’s Masters tournament.

The 28-year-old Spaniard is currently 65th in the world rankings and is one of five players who can move into the top 50 and secure an invite to the first major championship of the season in Augusta.

Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher, Richie Ramsay and Scott Jamieson can also achieve the all-important top-50 status alongside Germany’s Marcel Siem if they secure victory ar the Golf du Palais Royal in Agadir, Morocco.

“The main reason I am here is to try to win this tournament and get into The Masters,” Cabrera-Bello told

“This is my last chance to do it this year, the last bullet in the chamber if you like, and I am going to give it my best shot.

“Hopefully I can continue to play well and if the door opens a little bit on Sunday afternoon here then I can take my chance.”

The course at the Golf du Palais Royal has similarities to the Augusta National course and is rarely seen due to its positioning within the royal palace grounds.

“The golf course is just in immaculate condition,” Cabrera-Bello said.

“We are very lucky to be invited to come and play this golf course because not a lot of people will have played here before.

“You can tell from the conditioning of the course that we are in the King’s garden — it is very beautiful and is just in immaculate condition so we cannot complain about the course this week.”

Italian brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari will also compete for the trophy alongside the last three winners, Michael Hoey (2012), David Horsey (2011) and Rhys Davies (2010).

England’s David Howell and Tommy Fleetwood will also look to continue their good form in the event.

Last year’s winner Hoey admitted he has been struggling to recapture the form which saw him claim victory on the pristine course last year.

He said: “I’ve been practising in Dubai and have started hitting it really well. It hasn’t quite shown in the scores, which is a little frustrating, but I’ve been hitting a lot of fairways and greens. So it has to click at some stage.”

This will be the 40th edition of the Hassan II Trophy, which was first played in 1971 and became part of the European Tour schedule three years ago.