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  • Hadley's Masters hopes still alive at Valero Texas Open

  • Chesson Hadley needs to finish at least seventh at the Valero Texas Open to crack the top 50 in the world ranking. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) Chesson Hadley needs to finish at least seventh at the Valero Texas Open to crack the top 50 in the world ranking. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

SAN ANTONIO – Chesson Hadley will need a strong weekend if he wants to earn his first Masters bid. He needs to finish at least seventh at the Valero Texas Open to crack the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Hadley arrived in San Antonio at No. 56 in the Official World Golf Ranking. The top 50 at week’s end earn invitations to the Masters, as do the winners of the Valero Texas Open and next week’s Shell Houston Open.

He shot a first-round 69 and birdied three of his first five holes in the second round to tie for the lead. He shot 4-over 40 on his second nine Friday, though, and posted 73. He is at 2-under 142, six shots off Steven Bowditch's lead.

He had a chance to crack the OWGR's top 50 at last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, but a final-round 79 dropped him from fifth to 26th.

The fact that Hadley is even contending for a Masters invitation is testament to his rapid rise in the Official World Golf Ranking. He was ranked 1,522nd this week last year. He's won twice on the Web.com Tour and once on the PGA TOUR since.

Ryan Palmer, No. 62 in the OWGR, needs to finish third or better to crack the top 50. Hadley and Palmer are the only players in the Valero Texas Open field ranked between Nos. 51-70 in the OWGR who are not yet exempt for the Masters.

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