Semifinal run pushes Bello into OWGR top 50, Masters

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AUSTIN, Texas – A few weeks ago, at No. 61 in the world, Rafael Cabrera Bello was concerned more about qualifying for the WGC-Dell Match Play than the Masters.

“I don’t look at [the rankings] on a weekly basis unless I need to,” he said. “Normally I want to look at it after a good week just to see the improvement. But I won’t pay too much attention unless a deadline comes.” 

A big deadline loomed this weekend: The cutoff to qualify for the Masters via the top 50 in the world ranking.

At No. 54, Bello thought that he needed only to advance out of his group to secure a spot at Augusta. Turns out he had to win his Round of 16 match, which he did, after Byeong-Hun An withdrew because of injury. 

“Of course that’s in the back of your head,” he said Saturday night, “but it’s something that you don’t want to be thinking on the course because that’s only going to add more pressure.”

Now, after dispatching Ryan Moore, 2 and 1, Bello is two wins away from rising to No. 23 in the world.