Monday, January 21, 2013

2013 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters Preview and Prediction

The 2013 European Tour season continues it's Middle Eastern swing with the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.  Defending champion Paul Lawrie returns to the Doha Golf Club in Qatar with numerous top touring professionals.  The meager purse is supplemented with appearance fees for the top players in the world.

In the Field
Many players who competed last weekend in Abu Dhabi traveled the short distance to Qatar for this tournament.  Three of the world's top-10 players are in the field, as well as 14 of the top-50.  Players from around the world make up this field.

Players to Watch
Justin Rose: Coming off a second place finish in Abu Dhabi, Rose will look to avenge his final-round loss to Jamie Donaldson.  Rose is up to fourth in the Official World Golf Ranking, so he will want to build off that.  His solid play should put him right in position to win.

Jason Dufner: The top-ranked American in the field, Dufner is continuing his play on the European Tour to open 2013.  A solid week last week in Abu Dhabi will give him confidence to go low here.  Dufner is one of the best ball strikers in the world, so a solid putting week will put him near the top of the leaderboard.

Martin Kaymer: A T6 finish in Abu Dhabi will boost the German's confidence.  Kaymer struggled the past couple years with swing changes, but he has gone back to the swing that won him the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

Paul Casey: A solid finish in Abu Dhabi will hopefully springboard Casey to a strong 2013.  Hampered by injuries the past couple seasons, Casey has plummeted in the world rankings.  He will look to regain his form in 2013 and that could start in Qatar.

Thongchai Jaidee: Another strong finish in Abu Dhabi will propel Jaidee to one of his best years on tour.  After winning in 2012, Jaidee will look for more in 2013.

The Course
The Doha Golf Club was built in 1996 and designed by Peter Harradine.  At over 7400 yards, the course will be tough even for the best golfers in the world.  Bermuda grass is planted on the fairways and greens.  Water is in play on numerous holes, and the par-3s are some of the strongest on tour.  Natural rock is featured on the back nine.  If the wind blows, the course will play even longer.

Justin Rose will avenge his second place finish last week with a solid week here to win.  Jason Dufner will contend until Rose pulls ahead on the back nine in the final round.  Sergio Garcia will also be in contention throughout the tournament. 

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