DOHA: World Number Four Justin Rose of England and American World Number Nine Jason Dufner are amongst the highest-ranked players to confirm their participation in the $2.5 million Commercial Bank Qatar Masters. The news was announced during the pre-event conference at Doha Golf Club, where the tournament will be held from Jan. 23 to 26.
Jose Maria Olazabal, a 23-time European Tour winner, will also compete in Qatar, where the Spanish legend is assured of a special reception after captaining Rose and his European teammates to a spectacular comeback victory in The Ryder Cup last September.
Rose, who will join Ryder Cup colleagues Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer and defending champion Paul Lawrie in Doha, impressed on his last visit to the Middle East in November when a closing course record 62 secured a runner-up finish behind world number one Rory McIlroy at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.
The 32-year-old Englishman, also second to McIlroy in the 2012 Race to Dubai, is hoping to go one better in Qatar following a stunning season that included his first WGC title, a starring role in The Ryder Cup, his best finish in a Major and a career-high world ranking of four.
“I finished the year playing really well and I want to build on that in the Middle East. I’ll be looking to win early in the season and to win the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters would be a brilliant start and set me up well in the lead-up to the Masters,” said Rose, who last competed in Doha in 2009. Rose also stood out in The Ryder Cup, where he teamed up with Ian Poulter to win two foursomes matches and came from behind to beat Phil Mickelson in the singles, sinking long birdie putts on the final two holes to secure Europe’s fifth straight point on Sunday.
“The European Tour has such a big reach globally so the reception I’ve received throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa, where I’ve played since The Ryder Cup, has been amazing,” said Rose.