Commercial Bank Qatar Masters
Tournament Preview – 5th March –8th March 2020
– Johnny Bell
Tournament Notes• After 23 years at the Doha Golf Club, the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters will move across the Capital City of Doha from Doha Golf Club to Education City Golf Club.• The Qatar Masters is the fifth of six scheduled events in 2020 to take place in the Arabian Peninsula – prior eventsthis year have taken place in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Abu Dhabi) • 144 man field
Education City Golf Club• 7,307 Yards• Par 71• Jose Maria Olazabal design• Desert style course with tons of bunkers in play• The course uses Platinum TE Paspalum throughout the entire golf course• The height of the cut ranges from 2.5 mm on the greens to 70 mm in the rough• All Fairways, Greens, Tees and rough are designed to USGA specifications• Winning score at the Doha Golf Club over the last five years has averaged -16 with an average cut line of -1 or -2
Previous winners – *Tournament held at Doha Golf Club
The weather forecast for Doha, Qatar
As of Monday March 2, the forecast for Doha, Qatar looks great, clear and sunny conditions through out the four days. Wind gusts in the range of 11-22 km/h are forecasted for Thursday and Friday. The wind will still be a factor but will present much better playing conditions than the windy conditions in Oman and Saudi Arabia recently.
With the exception of a couple key additions, the field for the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters will look very similair to last weeks Oman Open. Notable additions – Robert MacIntrye, Matthias Schwab and Mike Lorenzo-Vera will join the field after taking the week off following the WGC Mexico.
Quick Notes – Top of the betting board
*Course history is from Doha Golf Club*
Martin Kaymer (+1400)
Course History –• Made 7/8 cuts at the Qatar Masters, dating back to 2008.
Current Form • T10 (Oman)T13 (Saudi) T16 (Dubai) T8 (Abu Dhabi)
Thomas Pieters (+1800)
Course History • 2019 – MC• 2016 – T52
Current Form • MC (Oman) T3 (Saudi) T37 (Dubai) T30 (Abu Dhabi)
Robert MacIntyre (+2000)
Course History –• 2019 – T31
Current Form • T42 (WGC) MC (Saudi) T8 (Dubai)
Matthias Schwab (+2200)
Course History –• 2019 – T31• 2018 – T61
Current Form • T42 (WGC) T44 (Saudi) T23 (Dubai) T42 (Abu Dhabi)
Joost Luiten (+2200)
Course History –• 2017 – T21• 2016 – T17
Current Form • T10 (Oman) T44 (Saudi) T66 (Dubai) T42 (Abu Dhabi)
Thomas Detry (+2500)
Course History –• 2019 – T11• 2018 – T39• 2017 – T28
Current Form • T36 (Oman) T6 (Saudi) T32 (Dubai) T55 (Abu Dhabi)
Mike Lorenzo-Vera (+2800)
Course History –• Five straight made cuts at the Qatar Masters, including three straight top 10s.
Current Form • 66 (WGC) MC (Saudi) T8 (Dubai) T34 (Abu Dhabi)
George Coetzee (+2800)
Course History – • Coetzee missed the cut at the 2017 Qatar Masters but otherwise has finished 12th or better in every year since 2013. (T2 – T8 – MC – T7 – 12 – T5 – T2)
Current Form • T6 (Oman) MC (Dubai) MC (Abu Dhabi) T6 (S.A. Open)
Gavin Green (+2800)
Course History –• 2019 – T31
Current Form • T18 (Oman) T3 (Saudi) T27 (Dubai) T21 (Abu Dhabi) T15 (S.A. Open)
Rosh Fisher (+3000)
Course History – • 2019 – T55• 2015 – T30
Current Form • T10 (Oman) T6 (Saudi) MC (Dubai) T6 (Abu Dhabi)
Jordan Smith (+3000)
Course History – • 2019 – T62• 2018 – MC• 2017 – T7
Current Form • T6 (Oman) T56 (Saudi) T32 (Dubai) T21 (Abu Dhabi)
Haotong Li (+3000)
Course History –• 2017- MC
Current Form • T18 (Oman) MC (Vic Open) T21 (Saudi) MC (Dubai) 41 (Abu Dhabi)
Key Stats• Built in 2018, Education City Golf Club is a brand new course on the European Tour schedule, and has no course history; heavy consideration will be give to golfers in goodcurrent form. Four of the last five events on the European Tour have taken place in the Arabian Peninsula – Oman, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.• From what I have been able to dig up, Education City Golf Club should provide an advantage to golfers with solid around the green games.
+2800 George Coetzee
At +2800 George Coetzee will be my official pick to win the Qatar Masters. Coetzee has 11 professional wins to his credit, including four European Tour victories. Coetzee offers incredible course history while playing across the capital at Doha Golf Club. The Education City Golf Club will obviously differ from Doha Golf Club but the playing conditions should be relatively similar. Coetzee is coming off a T6 finish last week in Oman and has five top 10 finishes in Qatar within the last seven years.
At +12500 Darren Fichardt will be making his 17th appearance at the Qatar Masters. With 22 professional wins that include the Qatar Masters in 2003, Fichardt has already been in the winners circle in 2020, winning a Challenge Tour event back in January.
At +1750 Nacho Elivira is definitely a long shot but after struggling for two rounds in Oman last week, Elvira had some extra time to prepare for a tournament in which he has hadsuccess at, finishing runner-up to last years winner Justin Harding. Look for Elvira in the top 10 betting market as well.
Martin Kaymer (10,600) – Kaymer presents a difficult decisionthis week, he has a proven track record playing in the Middle East, not missing a cut since the 2016 Dubai Desert Classic. However, Kaymer has not won an event since 2014, the highest priced golfers in the field he does not offer much win equity. We have however seen the likes of Lee Westwood end a long drought recently; could Kaymer be next in line? If you are looking for someone to win and pay off the high price tag, there may be better options up top. However, Kaymer can be considered be one of the “safer” plays to make the cut and challenge for a top 10 placing.
Matthias Schwab (9,700) – Schwab finished T31 at the 2019 Qatar Masters and T61 in 2018. Schwab took last week off, after playing the WGC Mexico two weeks ago, finishing T42.
Joost Luiten (9,500) – Luiten had a disappointing Sunday in Oman last week, he started the final round in a tie for first but Luiten shot a final round 75 and fell to 10th place. Luiten has made all four cuts in the four prior tournaments played in the Arabian Peninsula in 2020.
Mike Lorenzo-Vera (9,300) – Lorenzo-Vera has made five straight cuts at the Qatar Masters including three straight top 10s. Lorenzo-Vera took last week off, after playing the WGC Mexico two weeks ago, finishing in 66th place.
Thomas Detry (9,100) – Detry has three prior appearances at the Qatar Masters, finishing T11, T39, and T28. Detry has made all five cuts to begin the year, finishing T36 (Oman) T6 (Saudi) T32 (Dubai) T55 (Abu Dhabi) and T38 (S.A. Open)
George Coetzee (8,800) – Coetzee has incredible course history at the Qatar Masters. Though the Education City Golf Club will obviously differ from Doha Golf Club, the playing conditions should be relatively similar. Coetzee is coming off a T6 finish last week in Oman and has five top 10 finishes in Qatar within the last seven years.
Adri Arnaus (8,500) – Arnaus missed the cut last week during his first appearance in Oman last week. Arnaus had been playing well prior, finishing T27 (Saudi) T3 (Dubai) and T51 (Abu Dhabi). With A T14 finish last year at the Doha Golf Club, I am willing to give Arnaus a pass for last week.
Nicolas Colsaerts (7,700) – Colsaerts has made the cut in six straight starts at the Qatar Masters, finishing T34 or better. Colsaerts has also made the cut in all four tournaments throughout the Middle East this year – (Oman), T56 (Saudi), T50 (Dubai) and T42 (Abu Dhabi). Though Colsaerts is not a likely threat to win at $7,700 he could be a solid pick if you’relooking for cut makers.
Justin Harding (7,500) – Winner of the 2019 Qatar Masters held at Doha Golf Club. Harding missed the cut last week at the Oman Open but was coming off at T29 finish the week before at the WGC Mexico.
Pablo Larrazabal (7,500) – Larrazabal has played at the Qatar Masters for 11 straight years, making the cut 8/11 times, including five straight. Recent form for Larrazabal includes -T65 (Oman) 64 (WGC Mexico), T13 (Saudi) and MC in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Grant Forrest (7,300) – Fresh off a T10 finish at the Oman Open, his game has been trending in the right direction whilemaking all four cuts this year in the Middle East. Forrest has previously finished T69 in 2019 and T53 in 2018 when the Qatar Masters took place at Doha Golf Club.
Alejandro Canizares (7,200)– Canizares is coming off a T6 finish last week in Oman and a T15 finish prior to that at the Vic Open. Canizares has made the cut at Qatar Masters in four of his last five appearances that includes a withdrawal after anopening round 71 in 2017.
Darren Fichardt (7,100) – Fichardt finished T65 last week atthe Oman Open and has three top 10 finishes on the ChallengeTour this year, including a victory at the Eye of Africa PGA Championship. This will be Fichardt 17th appearance at the Qatar Masters, winning the event back in 2003.
Nacho Elivira (6,900) – Elivira was terrible last week in Oman but he had made the previous three cuts playing in Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Elvira matched his best result on the European Tour last year in Qatar, finishing T2.
Maverick Antcliff (6,500) – Antcliff has made the cut in his two other appearance in the Arabian Peninsula this season, finishing T43 last week in Oman and T52 in Saudi ArabiaAntcliff has spent three season on the China Tour, elevating his game to another level in 2019 picking up three victories.