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Roberts misses Masters by 0.01 of a point

Masters invitations are in the mail, and Loren Roberts won't be getting one -- yet.

Roberts was No. 47 in the world ranking and has not played since the Chrysler Championship in Tampa at the end of October. When the final ranking came out Monday, he dropped four spots to No. 51.

How did it happen?

Players accumulate points from tournaments over two years, which are divided into 13-week segments. Points are doubled in the most recent segment, and the preceding segments are devalued by one-eighth.

Blame this one on the calendar. Roberts received 28.51 points for the Texas Open (T2) and Canadian Open (T8) in September. In the latest ranking, those tournaments dropped into the next segment and were worth only 24.95 points.

His victory in the 2002 Texas Open and runner-up finish in the 2002 Buick Classic also were worth fewer points.

Add it all up, and Roberts finished .01 points behind Tim Herron, who was already eligible for the Masters.

Because there are no tournaments this week, the latest ranking reflects the final two weeks of the year.

Roberts, Trevor Immelman (No. 55), John Huston (No. 57) and others who finished outside the top 50 still have a chance to get to Augusta National.

The final qualification is to be in the top 10 on the 2004 PGA Tour money list or the top 50 in the world ranking one week before the Masters (which is the Monday after The Players Championship).

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