Els to star in Qatar Masters

BY iseekgolf.com | European PGA Tour | 2005 Qatar Masters | General | 21 Jan 2005
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South African star Ernie Els, the smooth-swinging world number three, will be the top attraction at this year’s Qatar Masters at Doha Golf Club from March 10-13.

The “Big Easy” will make his maiden appearance in Qatar and his presence will complement an already strong field led by last year’s winner Joakim Haeggman. Els, who has won the European Tour Order of Merit for the past two seasons, is an undisputed golfing superstar, having won over 50 tournaments around the world since turning professional in 1989.

His victories include 11 US PGA Tour Events, 16 European Tour Events, the US Open Championship twice (1994 and 1997) and the British Open in 2002.

Last year, Els won five tournaments, three on the US PGA Tour, one in Australia and a record sixth win in the HSBC World Match Play Championship at Wentworth in October. But it could so easily have been more, with second place finishes in both the US Masters and the British Open where Els lost in a play-off to American Todd Hamilton.

In confirming his entry to the 2005 Qatar Masters, Els said: “While I have never played previously in Qatar, I have heard very good things about the Doha Golf Club and I am really looking forward to playing there and meeting Qatar Golf Association president Hasan al-Nuaimi and everyone else who have done so much to develop this tournament.”

Els will be the highest-ranked player in the world to have ever played in Qatar. He will fly in from Dubai after taking part in the Dubai Desert Classic, which precedes the Qatar Masters.

The Qatar Masters, which was a part of the European Tour, will be co-sanctioned for the first time by the Asian Tour and several of the region’s top stars, including reigning Asian Tour number one Thongchai Jaidee, will be competing.

QGA chief al-Nuaimi was pleased to welcome Els, who finished runner-up in the recent Sony Open in Hawaii, to the event. "Ernie is one of the best players ever and his participation in the Qatar Masters is a positive sign for the tournament.

“He was keen to play in Doha and his participation will boost the event’s standing,” said al-Nuaimi.

The QGA’s marketing chief Abdullah al-Kuwari said it would be wrong to label the Qatar Masters as just a sporting event.

“The tournament is also important from the point of view of tourism that will boost the economy of the country and make it one of the most attractive golfing destinations,” said al-Kuwari.

Source – Asian Tour


Position Score Player Country R1 R2 R3 R4 Total
1   ↑T10 -12 Ernie Els South Africa 73 69 69 65 276
2   ↓1 -11 Henrik Stenson Sweden 67 73 66 71 277
T3   ↑T4 -9 Pierre Fulke Australia 66 70 73 70 279
T3   ↓T2 -9 Richard Green Australia 67 68 73 71 279
T5   ↓T4 -8 Barry Lane England 71 69 69 71 280
T5   ↑T10 -8 James Kingston South Africa 70 72 69 69 280
T5   ↑T6 -8 Robert Karlsson Sweden 69 67 74 70 280
T8   ↓T6 -7 Grégory Havret France 71 67 72 71 281
T8   ↑T18 -7 Louis Oosthuizen South Africa 72 71 70 68 281
T8   ↑T10 -7 Raphaël Jacquelin France 70 68 73 70 281
Position Score Player Country R1 R2 R3 R4 Total
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