Commercialbank Qatar Masters

Dutch teen to tackle European Tour heavyweights at 20th Commercial Bank Qatar Masters

After winning the biggest title of his career at this month’s Qatar Open Amateur Golf Championship, Dutch teenager Pierre Verlaar Jr is now preparing for the biggest tournament of his life at this week’s Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

 

Runner-up at last year’s Qatar Open Amateur, the 18-year-old made amends earlier this month by shooting three straight rounds of 70 at Doha Golf Club for a six-under-par total of 210 and a three-stroke victory over local star Saleh Al Kaabi.

 

Verlaar – born in 1998, the year of the first Commercial Bank Qatar Masters – is now excited to return to the famed course for Qatar’s long-standing European Tour showdown, which features the likes of Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell and Ernie Els as it celebrates its 20th edition.

 

“I’ve never played a European Tour event. I’ve never even played on the European Challenge Tour. I’ve played in some pro events like on the MENA Golf Tour, but it’s nothing like this,” said Verlaar, a Dutch national team player who has played golf full time since finishing school.

 

“I like the courses out here, in Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. I’ve played a lot in this region, but I’m not sure what to expect at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters. I’m aware of some of the previous champions like Branden Grace, Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson.”

 

With the winner of the Qatar Open earning a place at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, Verlaar looked set to book his place against the European Tour stars one year ago when he held a two-shot lead with the finishing line in sight, but eventually lost out to Rayhan Thomas, the Dubai-based Indian teenager.

 

“I was two shots clear on 17 and then made a double bogey. I only had to play par, par to win, but I didn’t, and then Rayhan made a birdie in the playoff to win,” said Verlaar, who’s attached to The Dutch golf club.

 

“It felt like a stupid way to finish. However, it was a well run tournament and I was thinking I had to come back this year to try again. It was like unfinished business so it felt great to win.”

 

Verlaar, who idolises Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, said he was especially pleased to better his 2016 score by nine strokes as he continues to build on his dream of becoming a European Tour player.

 

“I was happy with my scores at the Qatar Open as they were really consistent,” said Verlaar, whose best friend Dario Antonisse will be caddying for him this week.

 

“I was two behind after the first day, led after the second round and then made little mistakes on the last day, but I made a lot of birdies. I hope I can keep playing well this week.”

 

First held in 1998, the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters has helped establish Qatar as a world-class sporting venue and is considered the country’s annual ‘must-attend’ sporting and social event. Sitting at the heart of The European Tour’s Middle East swing, the tournament attracted over 25,000 spectators in 2016 and was broadcast to a global TV audience of over 400 million.

 

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