Fresh from his winning end to the season, big-hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros will join a star-studded line-up at the 2012 Commercialbank Qatar Masters, presented by Dolphin Energy.
To be staged at Doha Golf Club from February 2-5, the $2.5 million tournament will once again provide a unique challenge for The European Tour stars competing on golf’s now famed ‘Desert Swing’.
But after wrapping up 2011 in stunning style at the Dubai World Championship last month, Quiros will return to the scene of his 2009 Commercialbank Qatar Masters confident of taking that form into the new campaign.
The Middle East has become a happy hunting ground for the 28 year-old Spaniard with three of his six European Tour titles having been won in the Gulf, including that triumph at Doha Golf Club three years ago. And having finished runner-up on each of his last two visits to the $2.5 million tournament, Desert King Quiros will start as one of the favourites in Qatar.
“I think the golf courses in Qatar and the UAE suit my style of play,” said Quiros, one of the biggest hitters in the world game. “Obviously it's sunny and I like to play in the heat. Also most of the time in the Middle East - especially Qatar - we play the greens firm and quick, so it's a bigger advantage if you are hitting short clubs, as I normally do if I'm able to hit the driver well from the tee.
“The main reason I do well there is because of the setup of the golf course. But it's going to be an advantage for all the long hitters. Players like Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer are long.
“Obviously I'm one of the longest but if you finish closest to the flag and don't hole putts, it doesn't work. Even with the advantage of the length, everything relies on the chipping and putting.”
A victory and two runners-up spots in his last three visits to Doha Golf Club bodes well for Quiros and even though he lost out by four shots to eventual champion Thomas Bjorn in 2011, the Dane has no doubt as to the quality of Quiros.
“Alvaro has an unbelievable all-round game,” said Bjorn during his winter break. “He needs to improve on his consistency to challenge at the very top but I would like to think he can do it. Last year he had two wonderful wins in the Gulf and if he can get more control over his game he can take it all the way.”
Organised by the Qatar Golf Association (QGA), the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) and title sponsor The Commercialbank of Qatar, the Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy will be the second event in the three-leg ‘Desert Swing’ in between tournaments in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
“Doha Golf Club is regularly considered the toughest challenge the players face when competing in the Middle East,” said the club’s General Manager Chris Myers. “When the wind picks up it can be an extremely difficult challenge, although Alvaro Quiros seems to relish playing here.
"This will be a very exciting year for him after beating the best of The European Tour in Dubai last month – he’s got a wonderful record here and with him looking to improve his world ranking and his position in the Ryder Cup standings I expect him to be one of the favourites again in 2012.”