Amateur sensation Bryson DeChambeau will make his Commercial Bank Qatar Masters debut later this month when the 6-foot 1-inch American competes in the 19th edition of The European Tour event at Doha Golf Club.
DeChambeau, 22, made history last year when he became only the fifth player to win the US Amateur Championship and NCAA Division I individual title in one season, joining Jack Nicklaus (1961), Phil Mickelson (1990), Tiger Woods (1996) and Ryan Moore (2004).
DeChambeau’s US Amateur victory earned him starts in this year’s first three Majors – the Masters Tournament, US Open and Open Championship – and two more PGA Tour events in June.
However, the Californian is currently focused on his visit to the Middle East, where the US$2.5 million Commercial Bank Qatar Masters from 27 – 30 January sits at the heart of The European Tour’s three-week ‘Desert Swing’.
“I’m really looking forward to my debut at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters. The list of champions has a lot of big names like Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia, so I’m excited to play there and compete with top European Tour players,” said DeChambeau, who usually wears a flat cap while playing.
“It was so special to follow the NCAA win with the US Amateur title. Later, I was able to compete in tournaments all around the world and now I’m starting 2016 by continuing to travel to new countries. It’s a very exciting period of my life and my career, so I’m looking forward to every new experience and making the most of it.”
Last June, DeChambeau became the first golfer from South Methodist University to win the NCAA men’s title when he beat Pan Cheng-tsung of Taiwan by one stroke at the Concession Club in Bradenton, Florida.
Later that month he progressed through US Open qualifying, finished 45th on his PGA Tour debut at the FedEx St Jude Classic and played in his first Major at the US Open at Chambers Bay in Washington, missing the cut.
In August, he won the US Amateur by downing Derek Bard 7 & 6 in the match play final at Olympia Fields Country Club in Illinois, while in September, he was the only American to remain unbeaten as Great Britain and Ireland won the Walker Cup in England.
His travels continued in November when he competed in the PGA Tour Latinoamerica’s Argentina Open in Buenos Aires and then twice in Australia. He finished joint runner-up in the Australian Masters in Melbourne and joint-30th in the Australian Open in Sydney, where Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott were among the star names.
In Doha, DeChambeau will compete against many of The European Tour’s top players, including defending champion Branden Grace, former winners Henrik Stenson (2006) and Sergio Garcia (2014), and 2009 runner-up Louis Oosthuizen, winner of the 2010 Open Championship.
Hassan Al Nuaimi, President of the Qatar Golf Association, said: “It’s very exciting for us to announce that we’ll be welcoming Bryson DeChambeau to the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters for his tournament debut. He joined some of the greatest golfers of all time with his achievements in the amateur game last year and I’m among many looking forward to seeing him compete against many of the world’s top pros.”
Since Commercial Bank began its title sponsorship in 2006, the tournament winners include Stenson, Garcia, Grace, former World No. 1 Adam Scott, two-time US Open winner Retief Goosen, 1999 Open Champion Paul Lawrie, former European Tour No. 1 Robert Karlsson and Thomas Bjørn, a 15-time European Tour champion.