Ryder Cup heroes Thomas Bjørn and Stephen Gallacher will join European team-mates Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose and defending champion Sergio Garcia at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, which will be held from January 21-24. The participation of Stenson, Rose and Garcia was previously announced.
Bjørn, 43, was part of his third winning Ryder Cup team as a player last September, having competed on winning teams in 1997 and 2002, while he was also a vice captain in 2004, 2010 and 2012.
A three-time runner-up in the Majors, the big Dane has won 15 European Tour titles, including a four-stroke victory at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in 2011.
“I’m a big fan of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters,” Bjørn said. “I played really well in 2011 when I won it and it’s always an event I enjoy, with great weather, a fantastic course, excellent fans and just good all-round hospitality. With so many Ryder Cup winners this year, it looks like a strong field and that’s great for all of us.”
Gallacher made his Ryder Cup debut in September after arguably his best season yet on The European Tour. The Scot is a fan of the Middle East, having won the last two editions of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, but is hoping he can now peak a week earlier for the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
“I obviously have a great record in Dubai, having won there twice after finishing runner-up in 2012, so it would be nice to show that form a week earlier at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters,” said the 40 year old Gallacher, who is set for his 14th appearance at Doha Golf Club, where his best finish is a tie for fourth in 2002.
“I’ve really enjoyed my golf for the past couple of years and had the experience of a lifetime at The Ryder Cup, which has given me another incentive to play well. I want to be part of that again. It’s good that so many of us will be there in Doha as I always look to start the year strongly in the Middle East.”
Hassan Al Nuaimi, President of the Qatar Golf Association, welcomed two more of Europe’s Ryder Cup heroes to a field already boasting Garcia, Stenson and Rose, currently three of the world’s top six players.
“Thomas Bjørn, a former champion here, and Stephan Gallacher are long-established European Tour stars and regulars at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters,” Al Nuaimi said.
“It is fantastic that we have two more Ryder Cup heroes to join our defending champion Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, another former champion, and Justin Rose, three of the world’s biggest stars.”
Abdullah Saleh Al Raisi, CEO of Commercial Bank, added: “As title sponsors of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters for the 10th straight year, we are looking at one of our strongest-ever fields, with three of the world’s top six and five members of Europe’s winning Ryder Cup team from last September. Fans are in line for a spectacular event.”
Commercial Bank is marking its 10th year as title sponsor of the event, during which time champions have included Garcia (2014), Stenson (2006), Bjørn (2011), former Ryder Cup representatives Paul Lawrie and Robert Karlsson, former World No. 1 Adam Scott and two-time US Open champion Retief Goosen.
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