As the world golfing spotlight falls on the Middle East’s famed ‘Desert Swing’, the line up for the 15th Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy has strengthened even further with the addition of 2010 champion Robert Karlsson, former Major winner John Daly and the ever popular Miguel Angel Jimenez.
The $2.5 million tournament boasts a line-up bristling with talent and the addition of two big hitters in the shape of Karlsson and Daly - plus the craft and guile of Jimenez - is sure to boost attendance figures even further at Doha Golf Club.
Taking place from February 2-5, Qatar’s European Tour date has already proved to be a favourite with Karlsson who bounced back from a long period away from the game to lift the famous Mother of Pearl trophy two years ago.
And the towering Swede will fancy his chances of winning again, despite the fact that the challenging course has been lengthened even further to over 7,400 yards thanks to a new tee position on the fourth hole. As a renowned big hitter, Karlsson has a good track record in the region and in 2010 he also picked up the Dubai World Championship to add to his Qatar title.
“If you look at the winners in the region – people like me, Martin Kaymer, Alvaro Quiros, Paul Casey – then the courses here suit the guys with big drives,” said Karlsson, who now divides his time between The European Tour and the US PGA Tour.
“The Commercialbank Qatar Masters is a very strong tournament with a world-class field of players so for me to win there was massive. I’ve always liked the course ever since I first played it – it’s one of the longest we play – but it requires a lot of patience with testing par fives and some difficult rough.”
For Daly - winner of the 1991 USPGA Championship and the 1995 Open Championship – it’s a welcome return to Doha after the colourful American proved popular on his debut twelve months ago, while it will be an eleventh appearance for Spanish star Jimenez whose best performance was a fifth place finish in 2009.
Organised by the Qatar Golf Association (QGA), the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) and title sponsor The Commercial Bank of Qatar, the event continues to attract the biggest name in the game. Karlsson, Daly and Jimenez join a line-up that already includes World Number Two Lee Westwood, World Number Ten Jason Day, TPC Champion KJ Choi and a host of Major winners including Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell.
“The line-up is an exciting one for golf fans in the region and we expect that to be reflected in the number of spectators we see over the four days,” said Commercialbank Group CEO Andrew Stevens. “Whether it is one of the established stars or one of the up-and-coming youngsters on The European Tour, whoever wins will be a deserving champion over a challenging course.”
Tickets for the tournament are available now from Doha Golf Club and the Marriott Courtyard priced QR50 (daily) and QR 175 (season), while more information on the 2012 Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy is available at the official website www.qatar-masters.com.