By Sports Reporter/Doha
The Qatari Ladies Golf Team (QGA 4) of Mariam al-Sada (28), Nada Mir (9) and Yasmian al-Sharshani (22), alongside professional Matthias Schwab (Austria), won the morning Pro-Am at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at Doha Golf Club yesterday.
A total of 20 teams competed in the tournament with a ¾ handicap allowance for the three amateurs in the team in a Shamble format, with the professional playing their own ball throughout and the amateurs playing out their own ball from the best tee shot position on each hole.
It is the first time that a women only team has won the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters Pro-Am in the 21-year history of the tournament.
Remarkably, three teams finished on the same score of 26 under par and the top 13 teams were covered by just 7 shots.
Runners-up were the team representing BANZ Group losing on a back nine countback of 12 under par to the winners’ 14 under par of Jason Smith (9), James Finnigan (2), Mathew Deakin (10), captained by professional Thorbjørn Oleson (Denmark). In third place was the QIC Team hosted by professional Bradley Neil (Scotland).
Both the professionals and the amateurs praised the club for the organisation of the day as well as the condition of the golf course, especially the greens.
The prizes were presented by Hussein al-Abdulla, Commercial Bank of Qatar, Chief Marketing Officer and Keith Waters, Chief Operating Officer of the European Tour.
Winners: 26 under par / 14 under back 9; QGA 4 Team; Matthias Schwab (Austria), Mariam al-Sada (28), Nada Mir (9) and Yasmian al-Sharshani (22).
Runners-Up: 26 under par / 12 under back 9; BANZ Group; Thorbjorn Oleson (Denmark) Jason Smith (9), James Finnigan (2) and Mathew Deakin (10).
Third; 26 under par / 9 under par back 9; QIC Team; Bradley Neil (Scotland), Steve Lunden (16), Garry Taylor (2), Scott Saunders (22).
Five storylines to look out for at Doha Golf Club
1. On the double
If Jeunghun Wang successfully defends his title this week he will become just the second person to win the event in back-to-back seasons after Branden Grace, who achieved the feat in 2015 and 2016. Two other players have won the title on two occasions – Major champions Paul Lawrie (1999 and 2012) and Adam Scott (2002 and 2008).
2. Debut delight
Wang secured his third European Tour title with victory in Doha last year, and in doing so became the first player to win the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters on their debut appearance since Ernie Els in 2005. One man looking to replicate that feat is the in-form Shubhankar Sharma. The 21-year-old has already notched up his first two European Tour titles in a stunning start to the 2018 season, and will make his first appearance at Doha Golf Club this week.
3. Flying start
In 2014, Steve Webster made European Tour history at this event by becoming the first player to begin a tournament with an albatross. He started from the par five tenth hole and holed out for a two from 254 yards.
4. Great Scott
The 7,348 yard, par 72 Doha Golf Club is built on a 150-hectare site including eight artificial lakes that double as obstacles and aesthetic features. Perhaps the course’s biggest defence is the wind, which can prove a real test for even the world’s leading players – but it was no match for Adam Scott in 2008. The Australian carded a course record 11 under par final round of 61 to seal the title for the second time.
5. Eyes on the prize
The distinctive mother of pearl trophy awarded to the winner of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters is a nod to the country’s historic pearl diving industry. The first player to lift the eye-catching trophy was Andrew Coltart in 1998, and since then the illustrious list of winners has included Major champions Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Retief Goosen, Paul Lawrie, Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson.
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