Jordan vs Meronk: Two-way fight for CBQ Qatar Masters crown

Doha: England’s Matthew Jordan and Poland’s Adrian Meronk share the lead on Sunday morning at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at the Doha Golf Club course.

If the Polish triumphs here, he would become his country’s first golfer in the history of the DP World Tour to win a title.

While Jordan can lift his first DP World Tour victory in his 61st appearance, if he keeps the balance and momentum.

Chris Wood (2013) and Eddie Pepperell (2018) were the two Englishmen who had won the Qatar Masters in the past.

Finland’s Kalle Samooja was a stroke behind after shooting 6-under 66 on Saturday.

Jordan (70) and Meronk (72) had 54-hole totals of 8-under 208 as both search for their first European tour win.

The 282nd-ranked Jordan had a front-nine 39 but recovered with five birdies on the back nine in an overall “stressful” round.

Pablo Larrazábal (75), leader on the first two days, slipped two shots back in a three-way tie for fourth on Saturday with fellow Spaniard Adrian Otaegui (70) and South Africa’s Wilco Nienaber (74).

Spain’s Larrazabal shoots 64, leads by two after first round

Doha: Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal opened up a two-stroke lead after the first round at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters here at the lush green Doha Golf Club course on Thursday.

India’s Shubhankar Sharma, Denmark’s Marcus Helligkilde, Romain Langasque (France) and Adrian Meronk (Poland) were all two shots behind in a tie for second.

The highly-anticipated DP Tour event returned to its original home after the last two editions, which were held at the Education City Golf Club.

The competition is organised by Qatar Golf Association (QGA) with support from Qatar Olympic Committee, Doha Golf Club and long-term title sponsor, Commercial Bank.

“I’m very pleased. I played very solid. I missed only a couple of shots. I did an up and down there on the last green which I missed. I missed the cut last week but I played very solid golf today,” said the 38-year-old.

The tournament, which is celebrating its 25th year, features Thorbjorn Olesen, Ashun Wu and past champions Chris Wood, Jorge Campillo, Simon Rozner, Justin Harding and Eddie Pepperwell.

With the temperature soared to plus-30 degree celsius at Doha Golf Club, Larrazábal birdied his first three holes and had nine total for an 8-under 64. The 122nd-ranked player dropped only one shot, on the par-4 fifth hole.

The temperature was nice this morning but it started boiling,” he added. “It was 35 or 36 degrees, but I kept drinking a lot of water and making birdies.”

On the prevalent conditions at the course, Pablo said: “The conditions are great. When you come to a golf course that they’ve really changed, and they’ve not only changed it for us but for amateurs too. I’m sure the members here enjoy it a lot more and obviously there are a lot more pin positions for us. I think they did a great job and it’s looking magnificent.”

The tournament was first held in 1998 and since then it is considered Qatar’s annual ‘must-attend’ sporting and social event.

Defending champion Antoine Rozner, who won last year with a 60-foot putt on the last day at Education City Golf club, was tied eighth (-4) after the first day’s play.

Commercial Bank Qatar Masters tees off tomorrow

Doha: The occasional wind and the chill in the Qatari capital will test some of the world’s best golfers during the silver jubilee edition of Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at the Doha Golf Club (DGC) course from tomorrow.

A total of 144 golfers including 140 professionals and four amateurs will be in action in the DP World Tour – formerly known as the European Tour – event for the first time following renovation at DGC.

This year’s edition will see the tournament return to its original venue after two years due to renovation work at the course, with Education City Golf Club hosted the 2020 and 2021 editions.

But according to the Qatar Golf Association Technical Director Mike Shoueiry the redesigned four new greens can throw some challenge to the competitors.

“All the 18 holes have been reconstructed with four new greens being redesigned differently. If the greens are cut to become faster and given the windy weather forecast over the next few days, the players are in for a tough test,” said Shoueiry.

The DGC course was designed by UAE-based Peter Harradine and was opened in 1997, with the first Qatar Masters held in 1998 with a strong history of winners including double champions Paul Lawrie, Adam Scott and Branden Grace.

Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Ernie Els and Thomas Bjorn are also among those to have claimed the title.

Defending champion Antoine Rozner will be back in action along with Jorge Campillio, Chris Wood, Justin Harding and Eddie Pepperell.

QGA wants to give best golf experience, says Shoueiry

By Armstrong Vas

DOHA: Around 140 top-ranked golfers will vie for honours at the $2m Commercial Bank Qatar Masters which will be held as a part of the DP World Tour at the Doha Golf Club.

The tournament, which celebrates its silver jubilee this year, will be held from March 24-27, 2022.

“We have made all the arrangements to give the best experience to the fans, officials and all those associated with the tournament,” said Mike Shoueiry Technical Director at Qatar Golf Association (QGA).

The pro-am event will be held on March 23 and the champion will be crowned on March 27.

Qatar Masters, founded in 1998, is a professional golf tournament, which was earlier a part of European Tour.

“The officials of DP World Tour are expected to arrive two weeks before the event while the next batch of officials will check into Doha one week prior to the event. They will be followed by the DP World Tour media team, players, caddies and other personnel,” added Shoueiry.

The tournament is the second oldest DP World Tour event on the Arabian Peninsula after the Dubai Desert Classic, and it now forms part of an extended Middle East Swing on the tour.

The event which has had been previously won by the likes of Ernie Els, Adam Scott, Paul Lawrie and Henrik Stenson will see some of the top ranked players in attendance this year.

Qatari golfers eye Qatar Open title

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.