Commercialbank Qatar Masters

Returning champions kick start tournament week

Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjørn marvelled at how the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters has “grown, grown, grown” since 1998 after joining a cast of former champions for a special photo opportunity

Bjørn, 45, competed in the first Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in 1998 and won the tournament in 2011, one of his 15 European Tour titles in his illustrious career that has been further boosted by his appointment as the continent’s Ryder Cup Captain in 2018. 

Bjørn was joined at the photo call by two-time winner Paul Lawrie – who also competed in 1998 – Chris Wood (2013), Robert Karlsson (2010) Alvaro Quiros (2009) and Darren Fichardt (2003), while four-time Major winner Ernie Els is another former winner who has returned to compete this week. 

“I remember the early editions of it in the sense of coming here. Obviously it was so new and we didn’t know what to expect. Golf in the whole region was in its infancy as you’d only had the Dubai Desert Classic for a few years, so it was an interesting time to come,” said Bjørn, who won his first European Tour title in 1996 and captured the Dubai Desert Classic in 2001. 

“You come to Qatar now and it’s just amazing. It’s an amazing development in such a short space of time. As a tournament, the weather’s so good, the facilities are nice, and everything here has just grown, grown and grown. This golf tournament now just sits so well with the golf players and this whole three-week Desert Swing blends together so well.” 

Bjørn admitted he was delighted to finally win the Commercial Bank Qatar masters in 2011 – 13 years after his tournament debut – and join an increasingly impressive roll call of champions. Other winners include two-time winners Adam Scott and Branden Grace, Major winners Henrik Stenson and Retief Goosen, and Ryder Cup stalwart Sergio Garcia. 

“It was great to finally win here. I always felt like this golf course should suit me really well. I was working hard towards doing well here and I knew I could do well, but I never quite got it done until 2011,” Bjørn said. 

“You have a great list of champions because this run of events attracts a lot of top-class players and they just want to get their season started. Top players look toward the Masters and their preparation starts now. When you have a venue like this, it’s such a good asset for a tournament, because it’s such a good golf course. It asks a lot of questions and top players will always look at that. That’s why it sits well with top players and has great champions.” 

Bjørn believes the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters has played a huge role in Qatar becoming a sporting hub for the region and a proven organiser of world-class events.

“When we first came here, we thought it was so different, but you could see the attraction and the potential, and we’ve watched how Qatar has put itself on the world map. When they put events on, they do it so well.

Tickets for the 20th Commercial Bank Qatar Masters are now available from here.


Tournament day

Ticket type

Ticket price

Thursday 26 January

General admission ticket

QAR 150

Friday 27 January

General admission ticket

QAR 200

Saturday 28 January

General admission ticket

QAR 200

Sunday 29 January

General admission ticket

QAR 200

Season Pass Thursday to Sunday

Includes general admission on all four days

QAR 450


Entry is free for children under 14 years of age.