The reasons for Daly falling five places from last week involve the Hong Kong Open over the weekend, which counted as the second official event on the 2002 European schedule. Jose Maria Olazabal won the tournament and vaulted from No. 58 to No. 47. Adam Scott took third in the same event and climbed three places to No. 49, thus earning his first Masters invitation.
A change in the World Rankings system may be more to blame for Daly's fall. Three months ago, a change occurred that said instead of points losing half value after one year, a new scale reduces the value by one-eighth every 13 weeks over a two-year period.
Daly won the BMW International Open in Germany in September, 13 weeks ago exactly. He lost 5.25 points and saw his chances for a 2002 Masters spot fade.
Next week is the last World Ranking for the year and the only event remaining that counts is in South Africa. Because of the weak field, bubble players will not be able to move into the top 50.
Daly has two other chances to play at Augusta that will come in the 2002 PGA Tour campaign. He can be in the top 50 in the rankings after the Honda Classic in March, or in the top three on the tour's money list after the event.
Daly may have complicated the matter when he withdrew from the Hong Kong Open and the Asian Open the week prior because of travel concerns.
'If he had played and got his average results in Asia, such as a fourth place and an eighth place, he'd still be up there,' said Matt Bouchel of IMG, the group that handles the world rankings in London. 'You're assisting yourself if you're playing, especially if you're on the bubble.'
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