Popular 2010 US Open Champion Graeme McDowell will make his first appearance in two years at next month’s Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy as he looks to bounce back to winning ways after what he considers a transitional year.
The World Number 13 enjoyed a stellar season in 2010 winning the US Open at Pebble Beach and holing what turned out to be the winning putt in The Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in Wales.
He won three tournaments and was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List to cap what was a momentous season for the then European Number Two. This year he makes a welcome return to Doha Golf Club for his sixth appearance in the $2.5 million Commercialbank Qatar Masters, a tournament he has enjoyed top-20 finishes in on each of his last three visits.
“Graeme is now widely recognised as one of the greatest players in the world so we are delighted he is back to join us after missing out in 2011,” said Commercialbank Group CEO Andrew Stevens. “He certainly knows his way around the course having finished fourth here in 2007 so it won’t be a surprise if he is in contention on the final day yet again.”
To be staged at Doha Golf Club from February 2-5, Qatar’s date on The European Tour calendar will continue McDowell’s journey among golf’s elite, a path he embarked on with that win in the US Open – the first by a European golfer in 40 years.
Since then the man affectionately known as G-Mac has been catapulted into the golfing headlines and continues to produce the results to keep him in the top twenty of the Official World Golf Ranking – including four top-five finishes in 2011 alone in a season that saw him finish 16th in the year-long Race to Dubai.
“The support I receive has been great and, as always, it is much appreciated,” said McDowell during his winter break at home in Northern Ireland.
“I didn’t give the supporters a whole lot to shout about in 2011 but hopefully I’ll get back to my winning ways in 2012 - I’m really excited about this year and will start my new season on the European Tour in the Middle East.
“Last year was tough, no doubt about it. I learned a lot of things about myself like how to deal with being a Major Champion and how to deal with being one of the top players in the world. But the last three or four months have been great and there have been a lot of positives.”
Organised by the Qatar Golf Association (QGA), the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) and title sponsor The Commercial Bank of Qatar, this year’s Commercialbank Qatar Masters will see McDowell line up alongside several of the men he played with when he helped Europe defeat the USA in the 2010 Ryder Cup.
And with the biennial event set to be staged again in the US in eight months time, the Ulsterman will hope to be one of European golf’s 12 players for the greatest team event in golf.
“Graeme wrote his name into golfing history with a pressure putt that won Europe the Ryder Cup in 2010,” said QGA President Hassan Al Nuaimi. “I’m sure golf fans in Qatar who missed out on seeing him twelve months ago will be out in force to give him their full support in what will be yet another big year for The European Tour.”