Qatar Masters next in Middle East Swing
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2012 Qatar Masters | Preview | 31 Jan 2012
The European Tour heads north and west to Doha in Qatar for this week’s Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and although the game’s still hottest drawcard, Tiger Woods, is not playing, the field assembled is again a strong one, headed by the World number three Lee Westwood.
As was the case last week in Abu Dhabi, the venue for this week’s event, the Doha Golf Club, is a Peter Harradine designed layout and considered amongst the best in the Middle East.
Westwood has not won this event in its now 14 year history but he has often performed well. Westwood did well enough last week in Abu Dhabi but it would be a surprise if he did not at least contend for the title on Sunday.
Middle East specialist Martin Kaymer was a disappointment last week when he missed the cut at one of his favourite stomping grounds, the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, and it would seem that his chances this week are average at best. The German’s record in this event pales in comparison to his efforts in Abu Dhabi and Dubai so he will need a sharp improvement.
Sergio Garcia has played this event in each of the last five years and has been inside the top ten on three of those occasions. He has played very well over the past twelve months and I see him as a genuine chance to contend and win this week.
Alvaro Quiros won the event in 2009 and has been runner-up in the two years since. His record here speaks for itself. Quiros missed the cut at last week’s event in Abu Dhabi but very importantly he won the Dubai World Championship in December.
Graeme McDowell has not played this event often but after an indifferent mid season in 2011 he has begun to play very well again. His 3rd place finish last week gave the indication he is ready for a big week.
Jason Day missed the cut last week but his class should assist in some sort of form reversal this week. Day plays this course and the event for the first occasion.
Robert Karlsson plays well in this region having won this event and the Dubai World Championship 15 months ago. Karlsson has done well enough in recent starts to be considered a good chance.
Other Australasians in the field in addition to Day are Richard Green, Marcus Fraser, Andrew Dodt, Matthew Zions, Brett Rumford and New Zealander Michael Campbell
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