Sergio Garcia has confirmed that he will compete in his 10th straight Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in January, when the 35-year-old Spaniard will bid to regain the Mother of Pearl Trophy he won in 2014.
The 19th edition of the US$2.5 million European Tour event will be held at Doha Golf Club from 27 – 30 January 2016.
Garcia – a four-time runner-up in the Majors – will be making his 11th appearance at the tournament, having made his debut as a 19-year-old in 1999 and then competed every year from 2007, posting top-10 finishes in six of his last eight appearances in Doha.
After tying for seventh in 2008 and 2009, ninth in 2011 and fifth in 2012, the player affectionately known as ‘El Nino’ came close to winning in 2013, but eventually finished one shot behind champion Chris Wood.
Consequently, the Spanish star was a hugely popular champion last year when he finally lifted the Mother of Pearl Trophy after beating Mikko Ilonen in a dramatic play-off. Now he is looking to get his hands back on the silverware most recently lifted by South African star Branden Grace.
“The Commercial Bank Qatar Masters is one of the first events I commit to each season as it’s a great way for me to start the year. The weather in Doha is always ideal at this time of year, the course is well set up, the crowds get behind you and I just feel comfortable there,” said Garcia, who won the Asian Tour’s Ho Tram Open in Vietnam on Sunday.
One of the world’s best-known players, Garcia has won 11 times on The European Tour and eight times on the US PGA Tour, and has played in seven Ryder Cups, helping Europe win five times.
The current World No. 12 has enjoyed a solid year so far, posting top-20 finishes in the first three Majors, including a tie for sixth at The Open Championship. On the US PGA Tour, he lost a play-off at The Players Championship in May and shared fourth place at February’s Northern Trust Open after missing the play-off by one shot.
“I want to win again in Doha because a victory early in the year can really raise your confidence for the rest of the season,” said Garcia, who has been ranked as high as World No. 2 and only last November was World No. 3.
“It’s a great tournament that always has a strong field, so I can’t wait to go back there in January. I feel like I’m due another victory and it would be great to do it in Doha.”
Hassan Al Nuaimi, President of the Qatar Golf Association, said: “Sergio Garcia is always a crowd favourite at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, so we are delighted that he has confirmed to play in the event for the 10th straight year. It’s a tribute to the tournament that one of the world’s top players keeps coming back. We all look forward to seeing him.”
Commercial Bank is title sponsor of the event for the 11th straight year, during which time the champions have included Garcia, Grace, Adam Scott, Retief Goosen, Henrik Stenson, Robert Karlsson, Thomas Bjørn and Paul Lawrie.
Abdullah Saleh Al Raisi, CEO of Commercial Bank, said: “Commercial Bank is proud to be title sponsoring the Qatar Masters for an 11th straight tournament, as we begin our latest three-year extension. The Commercial Bank Qatar Masters has grown immeasurably in the last decade and now attracts one of the strongest fields on The European Tour Schedule.”
Tickets are available to buy now at a range of outlets including Virgin Megastores (Online and in-store in Doha), Ticket Master, Time Out Tickets, Q Tickets, Doha Golf Club and more (full list below).
Entry is free for children under 14 years of age and each ticket purchased entitles the holder to one free round trip journey to and from the Doha Golf Club by event partner UBER.
For those looking for an extra-special experience with a Michelin starred chef (to be announced), hospitality packages are available through the tournament’s official website www.qatar-masters.com/hospitality.