09 Mar 2021

Tournament preview: 2021 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters

The European Tour returns from a month-long break this week as Education City GC hosts the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, the second-longest standing European Tour event in the Middle East for the second year running.

2020 RECAP

Last year’s Qatar Masters was the final event held on Tour prior to the global shutdown of professional sports as the coronavirus pandemic began to soar. It also produced a memorable play-off finish, as five extra holes were needed to crown Jorge Campillo the winner over David Drysdale. Campillo had to wait 229 events for his first European Tour victory (which came in 2019) but the win in Qatar meant he had gotten his hands on some silverware in two consecutive seasons. After matching Campillo over the first four extra holes, Drysdale was unable to replicate the Spaniard’s birdie at the fifth and had to settle for the fourth runner up finish of his career.


THE COURSE

The Championship Course plays to 7,307 yards and opened in 2018. Sizeable bunkers are dotted around and there are greenside water hazards on more than half of the holes.


ONES TO WATCH

Adri Arnaus
Still searching for a breakthrough win on Tour, the Spaniard finished in the top 15 in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in January and will be looking to kick on in Qatar where there will be fewer world-class opponents in his way.
Thomas Detry
Belgian Detry has posted top tens in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudi in his career is comfortable playing in the Middle East. Finished 17th in Qatar last year with two 66s and two 72s and he played well in the two events in Cyprus late last year so can handle gusty conditions.
Thomas Pieters
Detry’s compatriot got better as this year’s Middle East Swing progressed – a T41 in Abu Dhabi was followed by T27 in Dubai and T10 in Saudi. Four-time European Tour winner is hoping to get back in the Ryder Cup fold this year but will likely need a couple of wins on Tour to achieve it.
George Coetzee
34-year-old Coetzee won his fifth European Tour title in Portugal last year – his first outside of Africa – and has a superb record in Qatar, with six top tens in nine appearances, including two runner-up finishes.

Callum Shinkwin
Comfortable playing in the wind player as demonstrated with victory in Cyprus late last year and a runner-up finish at Scottish Open in 2017. Didn’t play in last year’s event so Education City will be new to him.


RECORD BREAKER

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