Qatar Masters to go ahead despite Middle East conflict
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2003 Qatar Masters | Preview | 11 Mar 2003
The organisers of the Qatar Masters have come under pressure this week due to the volatility in the region, however, the event will go ahead as planned, albeit under tight security.
The Gulf State of Qatar was the headquarters for the allied forces during the Gulf War in 1991 and as a consequence many of the leading players felt that perhaps discretion is the better part of valour and have withdrawn from the event. That includes the defending champion Adam Scott, who has an engagement in Florida this week but under different circumstances may well have been there to defend his six shot win in 2002.
In 1999 I had the good fortune to do commentary at the event for European Tour Productions and was very impressed with the Peter Harradine designed desert layout. Warm winds swept across from the neighbouring Saudi Arabia and when you consider where this course was built it is quite an achievement, although in this region, money is not really an object.
Leading players entered this week are Padraig Harrington, Paul McGinley, Ian Woosnam, Phillip Price and Nick Dougherty.
Australasians lining up include Jarrod Moseley, Richard Green, Peter Fowler, Stephen Scahill, Lucas Parsons, Brett Rumford, Ed Stedman, Steve Bowditch and Marcus Fraser.