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BlogCommercialBank Qatar Masters Preview and Picks

CommercialBank Qatar Masters

January 22 – 25, 2014

Doha G.C.

Doha, Qatar

Par: 72 / Yardage:

Purse: $3.2 Million

with $397,398 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Chris Wood

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 10 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with one top-10 in the field: #3 Henrik Stenson. The other top-50 in the field are #11 Sergio Garcia, #13 Jason Dufner, #20 Luke Donald,  #23 Thomas Bjorn, #29 Ernie Els, #37 Miguel Angel Jimenez, #44 Martin Kaymer, #46 Thongchai Jaidee and #50 Branden Grace

The field includes 15 of the Top-25 on the Race to Dubai standings for 2014.  Those players are #1 Thomas Bjorn, #5 Sergio Garcia, #6 Branden Grace, #7 Pablo Larrazabal, #9 Morten Orum Madsen, #10 Dawie Van Der Walt, #11 Miguel A. Jimenez, #12 Henrik Stenson, #14 Tommy Fleetwood, #15 Richard Finch, #18 Darren Fichardt, #19 Romain Wattel, #20 Hennie Otto, #21 Thongchai Jaidee and T24 JBE Kurger.

The field includes four of the eight past champions: Chris Wood – 2013, Paul Lawrie – 2012 & 1999, Thomas Bjorn – 2011, Robert Karlsson – 2010, Alvaro Quiros – 2009, Henrik Stenson – 2006, Ernie Els – 2005 and Darren Fichardt – 2003

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the CommercialBank Qatar Masters field is our performance chart listed by average finish. One last way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the CommercialBank Qatar Masters  in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the CommercialBank Qatar Masters.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

 

 

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the CommercialBank Qatar Masters

Player Abu Dhabi Humana Challenge Volvo Golf Sony Open in Hawaii Hyundai TofC Nelson Mandela Nedbank Hong Kong Alfred Dunhill South African Open World Championship Dubai Turkish Airlines HSBC Champions
Branden Grace
(160.67 pts)
T52
(0)
DNP
 
2
(100)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T6
(40)
T20
(10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T52
(0)
T29
(7)
T39
(3.67)
Thomas Bjorn
(152.83 pts)
T10
(40)
DNP
 
T10
(40)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Win
(44)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T21
(14.5)
T18
(10.67)
T39
(3.67)
Pablo Larrazabal
(144 pts)
Win
(132)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T26
(12)
53
(0)
DNP
 
Miguel A. Jimenez
(144 pts)
T10
(40)
DNP
 
T15
(35)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Win
(44)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T8
(25)
T70
(0)
72
(0)
Tommy Fleetwood
(142.83 pts)
T19
(31)
DNP
 
T3
(90)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T37
(6.5)
T36
(4.67)
T18
(10.67)
Thomas Aiken
(110.33 pts)
T19
(31)
DNP
 
T8
(50)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T35
(10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
T17
(11)
55
(0)
T15
(11.67)
DNP
 
Raphael Jacquelin
(109.33 pts)
T37
(13)
DNP
 
T5
(70)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T44
(3)
T5
(23.33)
73
(0)
Henrik Stenson
(107.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
4
(26.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Win
(66)
T7
(18.33)
T31
(6.33)
Dawie Van der walt
(107 pts)
71
(0)
DNP
 
33
(17)
DNP
 
DNP
 
Win
(88)
24
(8.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Rafael Cabrera-Bello
(102.67 pts)
T4
(80)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T60
(0)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T14
(18)
T36
(4.67)
DNP
 
Jason Dufner
(96.33 pts)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T29
(21)
5
(70)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T34
(5.33)
Darren Fichardt
(95.5 pts)
T10
(40)
DNP
 
35
(15)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T50
(0.67)
T12
(12.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
T37
(4.33)
T21
(14.5)
T15
(11.67)
T61
(0)
George Coetzee
(91.67 pts)
T4
(80)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
T32
(9)
T12
(12.67)
74
(0)
Sergio Garcia
(91 pts)
T19
(31)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T2
(33.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
4
(26.67)
Matthew Baldwin
(91 pts)
T19
(31)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T2
(66.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Morten Orum Madsen
(90.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
T13
(37)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T25
(8.33)
DNP
 
T16
(11.33)
Win
(44)
DNP
 
T63
(0)
DNP
 
Johan Carlsson
(88.33 pts)
7
(55)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T18
(10.67)
T37
(4.33)
T7
(18.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Jorge Campillo
(87.67 pts)
T49
(1)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T2
(66.67)
DNP
 
T24
(8.67)
T44
(2)
T22
(9.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Stephen Gallacher
(87.33 pts)
T8
(50)
DNP
 
T29
(21)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T34
(8)
T25
(8.33)
T63
(0)
Romain Wattel
(85 pts)
T45
(5)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
4
(53.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T3
(30)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Hennie Otto
(73 pts)
T19
(31)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T24
(8.67)
T2
(33.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Martin Kaymer
(70.83 pts)
T31
(19)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T16
(11.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T19
(15.5)
T25
(8.33)
T8
(16.67)
Peter Hanson
(69.67 pts)
T10
(40)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T10
(20)
DNP
 
T21
(9.67)
Robert Karlsson
(68 pts)
T8
(50)
DNP
 
32
(18)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Thongchai Jaidee
(64.83 pts)
T10
(40)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
9
(15)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T47
(1.5)
T29
(7)
T46
(1.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the CommercialBank Qatar Masters

Player Abu Dhabi Humana Challenge Volvo Golf Sony Open in Hawaii Hyundai TofC Nelson Mandela Nedbank Hong Kong Alfred Dunhill South African Open World Championship Dubai Turkish Airlines HSBC Champions
Adrian Otaegui
(-23.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Fabrizio Zanotti
(-23.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Peter Lawrie
(-20 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Joachim B Hansen
(-17 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
T41
(3)
DNP
 
Kristoffer Broberg
(-16.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T50
(0.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
Gary Stal
(-12.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T50
(0.67)
DNP
 
T60
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
John Parry
(-11.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
CUT
(-3.33)
T44
(2)
DNP
 
DNP
 
T57
(0)
DNP
 
Graeme Storm
(-11.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
T44
(2)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
 
T67
(0)
DNP
 
Soren Kjeldsen
(-10 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
74
(0)
DNP
 
Brooks Koepka
(-10 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 
DNP
 

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

*The Qatar Masters was first staged in 1998, it will be the second year in a row that the contest has a Wednesday start.

*A very good win by Pablo Larrazabal, holding off Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson for a one shot victory over the pair.  Now it did help that McIlroy incurred a two shot penalty on Saturday while Mickelson called a one-shot penalty on himself on the 13th hole on Sunday.

For the Barcelona-born Larrazabal it was his third victory of his career.  It also continues a streak of winning every third year, Larrazabal joined the European Tour in 2008 and won the French Open, then won three years later in Germany at the BMW International Open.  So just like clock-worth, three years later he chalks up his third victory.

Now there are ratifications with Larrazabal win which took him from 103rd to 53rd in the world rankings.  Right off the bat, this win probably gets Larrazabal a spot in the 64 man Accenture Match Play championship.  Second thing it does is allow Larrazabal to knock on the door of getting into the top-50, once you do that you get to play in the four World Golf Championships, which is like easy money but more importantly gets him into the Masters and the other majors.

*The guy that is really kicking himself has to be Peter Uihlein.  He is one of those players that has become a PGA Tour no-man because he can’t find a fast-track to the PGA Tour.  With the elimination of Qualifying School he would have to spend a year on the Web.Com Tour, but he made a decision to try and get around things by playing on the European Tour.  In some ways this is a better ticket to the PGA Tour, play well on the European Tour, get into the top-50 and it’s almost a ticket to getting your PGA Tour card.  That’s because those in the top-50 get access to the majors and WGC events, have one good week like a David Lynn or a Jonas Blixt or a Hideki Matsuyama it’s a ticket to the PGA Tour.  This has to be on Uihlein’s mind and takes to wins in Europe at the Madeira Islands Open, he has climbed from 257th to 60th after his 5th place finish at the BMW Masters.  So here is Uihlein knocking on the door of success, all it would of taken was a top-0ten in the remaining three Race to Dubai playoff events and he just couldn’t do it.  In those three events his highest finish was 51st at Dubai.  Then he had a chance with a top-five finish at either the Nedbank or the Volvo Golf Champions and finished 10th and T34th in those.  He missed the cut at Abu Dhabi and now has dropped down to 66th and may not even make it to the Match Play.  Oh well.

*Last and I don’t want to harp on this, you have the Sergio Garcia controversy.  Over the years Garcia hasn’t been what you would call the perfect person, he has been a bit stiff with the media and has become the whipping boy in some media circles.  Last week in Abu Dhabi we had an instance in which some media and internet outlets went as far as branding Garcia a cheater by only showing a 11 second clip of him stamping down spike marks.  Let the truth be told, if they would of played the 30 seconds before they started the clip, it would of been noticed he was fixing his own ball mark.  The moral of the story, don’t believe some of the things that are on the web, even with sites that are considered the best for insiders.  Everyone is press to get the story out and the big problem on the web, once one posts something other sites feel that they have to post it also without doing the grunt work to find out if the problem is really a problem.  That was the case with Sergio, he never did anything wrong but for a day or two was branded “a cheater”.  Again, oh well it will happen again and again and again, that is the problem with the web.

Course Information: 

  • Played at the Doha Golf Club
  • Doha, Qatar – Par:  72 / Yardage: 7,400

Doha Golf Club is the only grass course in Qatar.  Millions of gallons of water are needed to keep the fairways and greens alive.  Course was built and opened 1996, Peter Harradine designed it.  He also built the Abu Dhabi Golf Course were last week’s event was held at.  It measures  7,388 yards, has eight artificial lakes weaving their way along most of the holes but coming into play on six hole. With the addition of a punishing rough made up of desert sand, rocks, trees, shrubs and long grass and cleverly bunkered fairways that twist and turn, the utmost accuracy will be of crucial importance.  To complete the transformation from desert to golf course, 1 300 palm trees, 10 000 trees and 5 000 shrubs were planted together with 65 cacti imported from the Arizona desert.

The key to playing the course is to have windless conditions.  If by chance the area is hit by the Shamal winds it makes the course very tough.  Back in 2012 the event was hit by these winds and the tournament had to be reduced.  The good news, the weather forecast is calling for great weather all four days with no rain and minimal winds. In looking at another source, wind could be a factor on Sunday, again hard to look six days in the future so check on the link when the tournament begins.

Golf’s DL injury report:

  • Sergio Garcia didn’t seem to be bothered after the first round at Abu Dhabi by the shoulder injury.  Hopefully it is getting better.
  • John Daly had surgery in July on a joint in his right elbow.  Two weeks ago it gave him problems in the second round, but shot 64 in the third round so it couldn’t be much of a problem as he finished T32nd.  He played at the Humana and missed the cut, then hoped on a plane for Qatar.  Daly got an sponsor exemption to play in Doha and it was all worth it as he won the pro-am on Wednesday.
  • Jeev Milkha Singh returned at Abu Dhabi and the finger problem seemed to be in his rear-view mirror.  He made the cut finishing T60th with rounds of 69-75-74-72 and is playing this week.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the CommercialBank Qatar Masters:

Key stat for the winner:

Seems that hitting lot’s of greens is very important.  Of the five winners going back to 2009 all of them were in the top-six in that stat, last year’s winner Chris Wood was T6th.

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

  • The Qatar Masters has been known as a tournament that produces low scores as the winner has had an average score of 16 under par.  Again watch the winds, that has a lot to do with the scoring.
  • You can’t call this course a long hitters paradise.  Yes Alvaro Quiros won in 2009 averaging the best of those in the field but since then the winners have been in the middle in hitting it long.
  • Mastering the par 4s is always key, Wood was 10 under on them last year.  He played them better than the par 5s which he was 9 under on.  But the most important stroke for Wood last year came on a par 5, he made eagle on the par-5 18th to beat George Coetzee and Sergio Garcia by a shot.
  • Henrik Stenson had an excellent run in this event between 2005 and 2009, winning it once and finishing runner-up on three occasions. But with the advent of all his problems, personally, financially and with his game his next four visits to Qatar only produced on top-twenty finish.  So which direction will the winner of last year’s Race to Dubai go?  He did miss the cut last week in Abu Dhabi and he may not be 100% as his wrist, which gave him problems in November and December could still be hurting him.

 

Who to watch for at the CommercialBank Qatar Masters

Best Bets:

Sergio Garcia

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T2 T5 T9 T24 T7 T7 T19

Has the best record in this event, you have to think that he is ready to win this event.

Thomas Bjorn

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T59 T25 Win 8 T60 T33 T9

He could be ready to strike again, has two top-tens in his last two starts plus a win at the Nedbank. He is a past champion here, just think he can do it again.

Rafael Cabrera-Bello

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T22 T35 T3 CUT

Someone that should be watched in the coming weeks, he did finish T3rd in this event in 2011 and T4th at Abu Dhabi.

Best of the rest:

Jason Dufner

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T9

Playing in this event for a second year in a row, finished T9th last year and looking to improve on that.

George Coetzee

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T2 T35

Another guy to watch, was T4th last week and last year in this event.

Branden Grace

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T6 T47

T6th last year in Qatar, also has played good in his last three starts including 2nd at Volvo Golf Champions.

Martin Kaymer

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T9 T9 T28 T32 T31 CUT

Seems to rule the desert swing, only finished T31st last week in Abu Dhabi but he does have a pair of T9 finishes in his last two Doha starts.

Solid contenders

Darren Fichardt

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
CUT CUT T28 CUT 3 T32 T36 Win CUT

Hasn’t been very good in this event, but playing well right now.

Peter Hanson

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T22 T2 T70 T14 T31 T51 T37 CUT T60 T50 CUT

Only a matter of time before he becomes 100% healthy and gets back to playing well again.

Thongchai Jaidee

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T9 T20 T19 T32 CUT T25 T9 T24 T39 T12 T29

Finished T10th in Abu Dhabi and he could do better this week. Finished T9th last year.

Pablo Larrazabal

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
CUT T25 CUT 31 T62

Could lightning hit two weeks in a row? Has the game and is playing well.

Long shots that could come through:

Steve Webster

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T4 T45 CUT T66 T13 61 T19 11 CUT WD T65

Finished T6th last year.

Thomas Aiken

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T22 T69 T6 CUT

FInished T6th in 2011, has been steady this year.

John Daly

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
4 T63

Probably not going to win but could get a top-five finish here.

Worst Bets:

Henrik Stenson

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T16 CUT CUT T64 T2 2 T7 Win 2 CUT T30 CUT

Sorry but there is something amiss with his game, he could still be hurt.

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