By Armstrong Vas
DOHA (Qat): Qatar national team players are looking for a good show at the Qatar Open Amateur Championship which started off at Doha Golf Club (DGC) on Thursday morning.
The three-day tournament, which is in its 35th edition, is being held in association with the Qatar Olympic Committee.
This year’s tournament has been restricted to Qatar-based players only due to the Covid19 pandemic and a host of players are sensing their chance to lay their hands on the trophy on the final day on Saturday.
With the Qatar Open winner qualifying for the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, which will be held at Education City Golf Club, from March 11 to 14, the Qatari players are keen to shift gears.
Jaham Al Kuwari, Saleh Al Kaabi and Ali Al Shahrani are confident of winning the trophy.
Al Kaabi, who has won a couple of titles at the GCC level and finished fourth last year, senses his chance to win the trophy.
“Yes, with the extra ordinary situation and with the tournament restricted to Qatar-based players all our national team players have a chance,” said Kaabi.
Kaabi’s national team colleague Jaham said he is targeting a win in the tournament.
“The Qatar Open is our best chance to dazzle in our home tournament as we were unable to take part in the tournaments outside Qatar due to Covid19,” said Jaham.
Qatar national team coach Hassan Benrokiya said all the national team, senior and junior players, trained hard ahead of the tournament.
“We had a short camp for our players ahead of the event and we have worked on a few areas. All the players are confident and eager for success,” said Hassan.
“It is a good opportunity for Qatar national team players to win the trophy. It will not be easy as there are a few good amateur players in Qatar,” he added.
The Qatar Open will be played in an individual stroke play format and will be restricted to golfers with a Handicap limit of 12.
This year QGA has also done way with the professional division, which was part of the amateur event for the last three years.
“We can make the cut in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in March,” said Ali.
The event is one of the oldest in the region and was first held in 1983 and contested over a sand course at Umm Said.
Michael Young of Ireland won the amateur title last year and also played in the European Tour event.