Haig, Westwood ahead in Qatar
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2008 Qatar Masters | Round One | 25 Jan 2008
Taking advantage of the slightly easier early morning conditions, Anton Haig and Lee Westwood lead after day one of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters. The 21-year-old Haig looking to regain the sort of form that saw him win the Johnnie Walker Classic in Thailand last year and Westwood continuing an amazing run of consistency in recent months.
The pair, with opening rounds of five under par 67, has opened up a two shot lead over a large group at three under par including three of the pre-tournament favourites in Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia.
After defeating a very strong field to win the Johnnie Walker Classic in March of last year, Haig’s form has been in a tail-spin, recording only one top ten since but, clearly a talent, the South African has produced a welcome return to form this week. He has been working with a new coach of late and it would seem to have made a difference.
Westwood won twice in Europe last year but it has been his amazing consistency in his last five or so months that has been so impressive, recording 10 top tens in his last 11 starts including his 4th place at the Tiger Woods’ Target Challenge in December, an unofficial PGA Tour event.
Scott won this event back in 2002 when he blitzed the field to win by six, Stenson is a previous winner and runner up in the tournament and Garcia, playing in his first event of the year, has made an encouraging start to 2008.
Other Australasians were Scott Strange, who continued his good recent form with a solid 71, Marcus Fraser and Peter O’ Malley had even par rounds of 72, Michael Campbell a one over 73 and, perhaps surprisingly, Richard Green a three over 75.