Compiled by V Krishnaswamy
Jeunghun Wang picked his third European Tour and along the way, he set a bunch of new records, but the man happiest despite not winning was Chris Paisley, who’s prize of 150,000 was more the four times in excess of the pay packet he earned for finishing Tied-13th at the end of the week at the 20th Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
Records Galore for Jeunghun Wang
· At 21 years and 144 days Jeunghun Wang became the third youngest player in European Tour history to win their first three titles, following Matteo Manassero (19 years and 206 days) and Seve Ballesteros (20 years and 77 days).
· Jeunghun Wang may well have come closer to his maiden appearance at the Augusta National, as he moves inside Top-40 in the world rankings. Starting the week at 60th, his win in Doha could take him to 39th. He needs to stay in Top-50 on March 26. The Masters is scheduled form April 6 to 9, 2017.
· The first Asian to win a European Tour title in Middle East, Jeunghun Wang, who became the first player since Ernie Els in 2005 to win the Qatar Masters on his debut, was winning his third title on European Tour – after the Trophée Hassan II and AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open in 2016.
· Andrew Coltart (1998 – first playing) and Adam Scott (2002) also won the Qatar Masters on their first appearance.
· Jeunghun Wang also became the youngest Asian player to win their first three titles, beating the previous record of Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who was 26 years and ten days in 2015.
· The 12th South Korean to win on the European Tour, he joins Y E Yang with three victories as the most prolific South Korean winner in European Tour history.
G-Mac happy with his return to Qatar
Graeme McDowell said his first appearance in five years at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters “exceeded expectations” after the four-time Ryder Cup star carded a closing 69 to finish eight-under-par at Doha Golf Club.
The Florida-based Northern Irishman McDowell, 37, fired four birdies in his last seven holes to conclude a week that started with rounds of 66, 75 and 70 in his first start since the ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf in Melbourne in late November.
“I actually exceeded my expectations this week. Only one part of my game let me down – I drove the ball pretty awfully – but the rest of my game was definitely at a competitive level and bodes well. This was very good on a lot of levels,” McDowell said.
“It’s my first time back to Doha in five years so it’s great to see the way the city has expanded and the way the skyline has got bigger and bigger as it prepares for 2022. St. Regis Hotel was magnificent, great hospitality and I really, really enjoyed my week.”
An ace alright, but nothing more for Olesen
On Sunday, Dane Thorbjørn Olesen recorded the second hole-in-one of the tournament, hitting the target at the 13th with an eight-iron from 182 yards. However, the 27-year-old Dane didn’t earn anything for his achievement unlike England’s Chris Paisley, who aced the 17th on Friday to win US$150,000 from Qatar Duty Free, the tournament’s Hole-in-One Sponsor.
Surprise cake from fellow French players for Lorenzo-Vera
France’s Mike Lorenzo-Vera had a pleasant surprise waiting for him after the third round of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, when he was presented with a birthday cake by fellow European Tour pros at Doha Golf Club.
French players Grégory Havret,Julien Quesne, Sébastien Gros and Romain Langasque, and Portugal’s José-Filipe Lima all sang ‘Happy Birthday’ in French as they gave a cake to Lorenzo-Vera, who had just signed for a three-under-par 69 on his 32nd birthday.
Traffic Jam on leaderboard
A joint-record of nine players shared the lead at the halfway stage of the 20th Commercial Bank Qatar Masters. The nine players at eight-under were Welshman Bradley Dredge, South Africans Thomas Aiken and Jaco Van Zyl, Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Spanish duo Jorge Campillo and Nacho Elvira, Finn Mikko Korhonen, Englishman Andy Sullivan and South Korean Jeunghun Wang.
The figure matched the European Tour record for most players tied for a lead – a nine-way tie after the first round of the 2007 Wales Open.
The congested leaderboard at that stage also featured seven players tied at seven-under and 10 more at six-under.
Ace fetches fat cheque and finally a good finish for Paisley
After nine holes on second day, England’s Chris Paisley looked like he was going to miss the cut as he was three-over. Then he birdied 10th and 11th but at one-over, he was still just off the cut line when he came to 16th tee. He birdied 16th, aced 17th and birdied 18th and made the cut.
Paisley’s moment came on 17th, when his ace earned him US$150,000 but revealed that he wouldn’t be in control of how to spend it. By the end of the week, he had also finished T-13.
His winnings from the ace were more than four times, what he earned for his T-13 finish.
The Englishman holed out with a nine-iron from 135 yards at the par-three 17th on Friday to win US$150,000 from Qatar Duty Free, the tournament’s Hole-in-One Sponsor.
“I don’t think it’s going to be me that's spending it. My wife’s here this week, so I think she'll probably take care of that,” joked Paisley.
“This is my first hole-in-one on the European Tour. I think that's five in total in my life, but this is definitely the most memorable.”
“It was a great feeling, but strange, as I went 27 holes this week without making a birdie and was three-over-par, struggling to make the cut. All of a sudden I made a couple of birdies and had a hole-in-one and I was inside the cut mark. I suppose it shows you – never give up!”
19 out of 20 Qatar Masters for Jacquelin
Four-time European Tour winner Raphaël Jacquelin of France tied Søren Kjeldsen’s record of 19 appearances at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.Kjeldsen, Denmark’s top-ranked player, played in the first 19 editions of the European Tour event at Doha Golf Club, but is playing in the USA this week.Jacquelin, 42, missed only the 1999 edition won by Paul Lawrie.Jacquelin’s best finish has been Tied-3rd in 2004.
Among the others, who were in Doha in its inaugural year in 1998, and also playing this year were Paul Lawrie, who also won in 2012, and fellow two-time Ryder Cup player David Howell.
Chawrasia woken up by Republic Day messages
India’s SSP Chawrasia admitted being woken up in the morning by SMS and phone messages about Republic Day greetings. The first day of Qatar Masters, January 26, coincided with India’s 68th Republic Day, and like each year there were big celebrations back home.