08 January 2013
Last Updated: 27 June 2013
World number four Justin Rose and world number nine Jason Dufner are among the highest-ranked players to confirm their participation for the January Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at Doha Golf Club.
Europe's victorious Ryder Cup captain José Maria Olazábal will also compete alongside Ryder Cup colleagues Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer and defending champion Paul Lawrie.
Rose impressed on his last visit to the Middle East in November when a final round course record 62 secured a runner-up finish behind world number one Rory McIlroy at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
The 32-year-old 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.
“My game’s in a good place right now and I’m playing well on all types of golf courses. I really enjoy playing desert courses like Doha Golf Club as it requires lots of imagination and shot making ability, which suits me. I believe I can win as I’ve been performing consistently for a while now.”
Dufner added: "It’s great that Justin’s playing in Doha. I’ve played practice rounds and competitive rounds with him. He’s a very skilled golfer and has come into his own with some big wins. Qatar has one big tournament a year so it’ll be good to have as many good players as possible.”
An experienced traveller, Dufner finished runner-up in The European Tour’s Perth Invitational in Australia in October before competing in Malaysia and China, and is now keen to make his first visit to Qatar.
“I’m looking forward to Qatar, which looks like a good event when I’ve seen it on TV. I’ve spoken to some US Tour players and they say the Middle East tournaments are some of the better events of the year. It should be fun.”
Hassan Al Nuaimi, President of the Qatar Golf Association, believes the addition of Rose, Dufner and Olazábal to the field for the 16th Commercial Bank Qatar Masters will ensure a spectacular event for golf fans in Doha.
“Justin Rose and Jason Dufner are two of the world’s leading golfers, as shown by their high ranking, and both will be among the favourites to win the 16th Commercial Bank Qatar Masters,” Al Nuaimi said.
“José Maria Olazábal is a golfing great and one of The European Tour’s most successful players. He showed his inspirational character as captain of Team Europe at The Ryder Cup in September, so he is assured of an especially warm reception at Doha Golf Club.”
Paul Lawrie (1999, 2012) and Adam Scott (2002, 2008) are the only two-time winners of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, while other champions include multiple Major winners Ernie Els (2005) and Retief Goosen (2007).