Ryder Cup star Rafa Cabrera-Bello will attempt to become the third Spanish winner of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters when he competes in the landmark 20th edition of the European Tour event at Doha Golf Club from January 26-29.
Cabrera-Bello enjoyed arguably his best-ever year in 2016, finishing eighth on The Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex – despite not adding to his two European Tour titles – and shone on his debut at both the Olympic Games and The Ryder Cup.
As well as securing seven top-five finishes on the European Tour and PGA TOUR last year, the Spaniard tied for fifth in the Olympics in Rio in August, was undefeated at September’s Ryder Cup in the USA and led Spain to eighth place at November’s ISPA HANDA World Cup of Golf in Australia.
This month, the 32 year old will compete in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters for an eighth straight year as he endeavours to emulate compatriots Sergio Garcia (2014) and Alvaro Quiros (2009) by lifting the Mother of Pearl Trophy.
Cabrera-Bello has already come close on three occasions, finishing joint runner-up last January after tieing for third in 2011 and 2014, the year he missed out on the playoff between Garcia and Mikko Ilonen by one shot.
After his tie for second in Qatar last January, Cabrera-Bello followed up with another joint runner-up finish in Dubai the following week. In April, he broke into the top 30 of the Official World Golf Ranking after the Masters Tournament and has since remained around that mark, ending 2016 as World Number 27.
Cabrera-Bello represented Spain alongside Garcia at the Rio Olympics before partnering his famed compatriot in the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National, recording a win and a draw before he beat Jimmy Walker in Sunday’s singles.
Cabrera-Bello then took on the senior role at the World Cup where he partnered rookie Jon Rahm and gave Spain the first-round lead with a birdie putt on 18. However, as he looks to add to victories in 2009 and 2012, Cabrera-Bello has had enough of fast starts and close finishes, having amassed seven runner-up finishes and seven thirds on the European Tour.
“I’ve finished high up the leaderboard many times, but I’m very patient and know my next victory will come,” he said. “I’m playing well and as long as I remain consistent, another win will come. I think I have a good chance in Qatar and will certainly give it my best shot.”