Commercialbank Qatar Masters

Manchester United Stars on Watch at Commercial Bank Qatar Masters

Rooney, Giggs, Scholes meet fans – and Justin Rose

Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes were among a group of Manchester United players watching some of the world's top golfers in the first round of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

The English football giants have been training at the Aspire Academy in Doha this week and over a dozen players and coaching staff travelled to Doha Golf Club on Wednesday afternoon to follow the likes of World Number Four Justin Rose, World Number Five Louis Oosthuizen and Martin Kaymer, the former World Number One.

The Manchester United footballers started and finished their afternoon in the Commercial Bank Hospitality Tent overlooking the 18th green, but also mingled with other spectators along the fairways as they followed a selection of groups during the afternoon.

Even Rose - a man used to playing in front of large, raucous crowds at the Ryder Cup - was taken aback when he saw the calibre of his gallery.

"I saw the Man United guys were close to us on the par-three at hole 12, so I went up to them and I shook Rooney's hand and Giggsy and the boys. Obviously they're such legends. It's hard not to be impressed by them," said Rose, the top-ranked player in this week's field and a European legend of his own at last September's Ryder Cup.

"I've met a bunch of football star over the years like Alan Shearer, Michael Owen, all those sorts of guys. Jamie Redknapp's become a friend of mine. They're all mad-keen golfers, which is cool."

Rose even responded to the pressure of seeing the football greats watching over him as he played the par-five 18th, recording a birdie to finish with a four-under-par 68.

"I had hold of my three-wood into 18 and I sort of looked up to the balcony and I saw all these guys, many wearing black, so I knew it was them, although Wayne was in a red shirt. That definitely added a bit of focus going into my last shot into 18 as I tried to impress the lads. It was a nice way to finish."

Other leading golfers this week include current Open Champion Ernie Els, a four-time Major winner, World Number 11 Jason Dufner, Spanish legend Sergio Garcia and defending champion Paul Lawrie.