World No. 10 Sergio Garcia is determined to win the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters when he competes for the ninth time at Doha Golf Club, which hosts the 17th edition of the tournament from Wednesday to Saturday this week.
Garcia joins World No. 3 Henrik Stenson, 2013 PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner, former World No. 1 Luke Donald, multiple major champions Ernie Els and John Daly, 20-time European Tour winner Miguel Angel Jiménez and titleholder Chris Wood in a strong field.
Garcia, who turned 34 earlier this month, will be among the pre-tournament favourites at the long-standing European Tour event following impressive form in recent events.
The Spanish Ryder Cup hero was fourth at November’s WGC - HSBC Champions in China and last month finished runner-up at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa before holding off Stenson and other big names to win the Thailand Golf Championship on the Asian Tour.
“I’ve always loved competing at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and I feel like I’m getting closer and closer to winning it. The tournament is a fixture at the start of the year for me and I know the course really well, so I will give it my best to win it this year,” said Garcia, a 10-time European Tour winner.
“It’s a great line-up again featuring many top players and I know the crowds in Doha always appreciate good golf. I came very close last year, but Chris was a deserving winner after his eagle on the final hole, so hopefully this will be my time. I’m in good form and always looking to win.”
Garcia finished joint runner-up behind Wood last January for his fifth top-10 finish in seven straight appearances in Doha from 2007, having first played in the tournament as a 19-year-old in 1999, the year he became The Ryder Cup’s youngest player.
After tying for ninth in 2011 and fifth in 2012, it looked as though it might finally be Garcia’s turn last year when he shot a closing 66 to match George Coetzee’s 17-under clubhouse total of 271.
Garcia looked set for at least a playoff before Wood, the overnight leader, overtook the pair with a spectacular eagle on the 18th to secure his maiden European Tour title.
“I was really happy for Chris,” he said. “I played well, so did George, and we posted a good target, so if someone can beat that with an eagle on 18, I take my hat off to him. However, having come close many times, I would really like to win the trophy myself.”
Hassan Al Nuaimi, President, Qatar Golf Association, also believes Garcia will be among the leading contenders at Doha Golf Club, where the Spaniard is always a crowd favourite.
“It is always a pleasure to welcome Sergio Garcia back to the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and we are truly delighted that he’s back for an eighth straight year,” Al Nuaimi said. “Sergio has long been one of the tournament’s most loyal supporters and most popular players, which is obvious when you see fans following him on and off the golf course.”
Abdulla Saleh Al Raisi, Chief Executive Officer, Commercial Bank, said the Spaniard added further star quality to an already strong field.
“Sergio Garcia has always performed well at Doha Golf Club and was very close to winning the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters last year,” Al Raisi said. “Sergio is one of the world’s best players and knows the course well through many previous appearances, so we always expect him to be one of the main challengers for the Mother of Pearl Trophy.”
The 2014 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters runs from Wednesday 22 January to Saturday 25 January. Evening entertainment will begin from 6pm on Thursday and Friday. Both single-day (Thursday/Friday) and season tickets include entry to the concerts, which include American performers Divas of Soul on Thursday and Scottish band Texas on Friday.
Season tickets provide exceptional value, offering access to all four days of golf action, the public village and all evening entertainment for just QAR325, more than 40% less than four single-day tickets.
Single-day and season tickets for the2014 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters are available to purchase online at www.virginmegastore.me and in-store from Virgin Megastore shops in Villagio Mall and Landmark Mall, Doha, as well as Doha Golf Club.
Wednesday 22 January 2014: QAR100
Thursday 23 January 2014: QAR150 (includes evening entertainment – Divas of Soul)
Friday 24 January 2014: QAR150 (includes evening entertainment – Texas)
Saturday 25 January 2014: QAR150
Season Ticket: QAR325 (includes Weds 22 January - Saturday 25 January event entry and all evening entertainment)
Entry is free for children under 15 years of age.
For those looking for an extra-special experience, a range of popular corporate hospitality packages are available. For more information visit the tournament’s official website, www.qatar-masters.com.