ROB ROCK admits time is his enemy in his quest to claim a spot at next month's Masters at Augusta – but insists he won't give up hope until the last putt is holed.
Rock's creditable tied 24th place finish at last weekend's WGC Cadillac Championship in Florida bumped him up only one spot in the world rankings from 57 to 56.
But to earn a spot at the Masters and vie for the famous Green Jacket, he must climb into the top 50 – and he's running out of time with two weeks left to the qualifying cut-off point.
The Armitage ace knows he will need a really strong finish at either this week's Open de Andalucia in Spain or next week's Trophee Hassan II in Morocco to realise his dream.
Rock told Mercury Sport: "I've got to play the next two tournaments to give myself the best chance possible and if I were to win in Andalucia this week, that might just do it.
"It's not until everybody tees off that they how many world ranking points are available at a tournament because it depends on the strength of the field.
"But I know I need to get close to winning one of these two events. I probably need somewhere in the region of 10-15 extra points over the next two events.
"My only option is to play them – I'm not going to move up the rankings enough without playing.
"I might move up one or two places by not playing (if other players lose points) but really I need to move up seven or eight places.
"I've just left my jump up into this area of the world rankings a little bit late – it might not quite have left me enough time to get into the Masters.
"Looking at the rankings and how the next few weeks will affect them, if you gave me the next ten tournaments I think I'd be inside the top 50 comfortably.
"But having just two (before the Masters deadline) makes it harder. Hopefully I can get in soon and take advantage for the rest of the year of the exemptions that being there gives you."
A shaky opening round of 75 meant Rock was never in contention at Doral last week but he rallied with fine efforts of 70, 68 and 69 for a top 25 finish on six-under-par. Justin Rose triumphed on 16 under.
Rock reflected: "I did a lot of practice on the Tuesday with my driver which didn't really pay off until the weekend.
"I was attempting to change a few things and it took a bit of focus off on Thursday.
"It's a difficult thing to do, to start changing things at a tournament, but you have to do it at some point.
"It slightly got in the way of things but it was quite a good week overall – the top 50 were there so 24th means I beat quite a few who are supposed to be ranked higher than me."