After a week in Oman, the European Tour will travel 400 miles north to Qatar for a second week of championship golf in the Middle East.
On tap this week is the 21st edition of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at the venerable Doha Golf Club.
Jeung-hun Wang returns to defend his 2017 tile against a field that includes top-ranked players in American Julian Suri, Indian Shubhankar Sharma, and Englishman Chris Wood.
As we do each week, here’s a round up of information and historical data to get you prepped for a weekend of golf in Qatar.
Tournament: Commercial Bank Qatar Masters
Dates: Feb. 22-25, 2018
Where: Doha, Qatar
Course: Doha Golf Club
Distance: Par 72, 7400 yards
Architect: Peter Harradine
Format: 72-holes, stroke play, no cut
Winning Share: $480,720
Defending Champion: Jeung-hun Wang
Marquee Players: Wang, Darren Clarke, Shubhankar Sharma, Julian Suri, Chris Wood, Thorbjorn Olesen, Richie Ramsay, Andy Sullivan, David Horsey, and Hideto Tanihara.
TV AND ONLINE
Round 1: Thu 6-9:00 am (GOLF)
Round 2: Fri 6-9:00 am (GOLF)
Round 3: Sat 6-8:30 am (GOLF)
Round 4: Sun 6-8:30 am (GOLF)
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The Commercial Bank Qatar Masters is one of five European Tour golf tournaments which are staged in the Middle East, the others being the NBO Oman Open, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, and the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.
The then-titled Qatar Masters was first contested in 1998 with Andrew Coltart capturing the inaugural trophy and a first-place prize of € 141,408.
The tournament boasts big-name past winners such as Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Ernie Els, Thomas Bjørn, Chris Wood, Retief Goosen, Branden Grace, Paul Lawrie, and Adam Scott – with the latter three (Grace, Lawrie, Scott) the only two-time winners.
The title sponsor has always been Commercial Bank, a private sector bank operating in Qatar since 1975. The bank offers a range of products and services across retail, and corporate banking divisions.
2013-18: Commercial Bank Qatar Masters
2006-12: Commercialbank Qatar Masters
1998-05: Qatar Masters
Jeunghun Wang won his third European Tour title at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, by beating Joakim Lagergren and Jaco Van Zyl in a playoff.
Wang started the day with a 3-shot lead, but got into trouble early on the back-nine. The South Korean had a chance to win it in regulation on the final hole, but left his birdie putt about 2 inches short, and had to settle for 16-under and a playoff.
On the very first playoff hole (the par-5 18th), Wang birdied while Lagergren and Van Zyl parred.
At 21 years and 144 days old, Wang became the third youngest player to win three European Tour events (Matteo Manassero (19.6) and Seve Ballesteros (20.2) are Nos. 1 and 2, respectively).
1 Jeung-hun Wang -16
2 Joakim Lagergren -16
2 Jaco van Zyl -16
4 Thomas Aiken -15
4 Mike Lorenzo-Vera -15
6 Rafa Cabrera Bello -14
6 Nacho Elvira -14
6 Jordan Smith -14
9 Kiradech Aphibarnrat -13
9 Nathan Kimsey -13
2017: Wang Jeung-hun (-16)
2016: Branden Grace (-14)
2015: Branden Grace (-19)
2014: Sergio García (-16)
2013: Chris Wood (-15)
2012: Paul Lawrie (-15)
2011: Thomas Bjørn (-14)
TOURNAMENT SCORING RECORDS
268 (-20) Paul Lawrie (1999), Adam Scott (2008)
2 – Branden Grace (2015-16)
2 – Adam Scott (2002, 2008)
2 – Paul Lawrie (1999, 2012)
RD 1: Thu. High 79° Partly Cloudy
RD 2: Fri. High 80° Partly Cloudy
RD 3: Sat. High 78° Mostly Cloudy
RD 4: Sun. High 86° Scattered T-storms
The field this week at Doha Golf Club includes seven players ranked in the top 100 in the Official Golf World Rankings, including No. 70 Julian Suri, No. 74 Shubhankar Sharma, No. 75 Hideto Tanihara, No. 85 Seungsu Han, No. 90 Chris Wood, No. 92 Thorbjorn Olesen, and No. 95 Fabrizio Zanotti.
Other marquee players include Darren Clarke, Thomas Bjorn, Paul Lawrie, Thomas Bjorn, Robert Karlsson, Matteo Manassero, Jordan Smith, S.S.P. Chawrasia, Fabrizio Zanotti, Andy Sullivan, and Nicolas Colsaerts.
Credits: European Tour Media, Getty Images