European Golf Tour
PGA European - Commercial Bank Qatar Masters Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Wednesday, January 23rd through Saturday, January 26th
SITE: Doha Golf Club, Doha, Qatar
COURSE ARCHITECT: Peter Harradine (1996)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,400
Hole-by-Hole1 - Par 5 591 Yds
2 - Par 4 433 Yds
3 - Par 3 223 Yds
4 - Par 4 413 Yds
5 - Par 4 452 Yds
6 - Par 4 488 Yds
7 - Par 4 391 Yds
8 - Par 3 185 Yds
9 - Par 5 639 Yds
36 3,815 Yds
10 - Par 5 548 Yds
11 - Par 4 474 Yds
12 - Par 4 429 Yds
13 - Par 3 203 Yds
14 - Par 4 410 Yds
15 - Par 4 470 Yds
16 - Par 4 307 Yds
17 - Par 3 155 Yds
18 - Par 5 589 Yds
36 3,585 Yds
Annual:  16th
Television:  Golf Channel - Wednesday/Thursday -- 5-9 a.m. (et),
  - Friday/Saturday -- 4:30-8:30 a.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Paul Lawrie
Runner-Up:  Peter Hanson, Jason Day
Tournament Record:  268 (Paul Lawrie, 1999; Adam Scott, 2008)
54-Hole Record:  200 (Paul Lawrie, 1999; Alvaro Quiros, 2009)
36-Hole Record:  132 (Louis Oosthuizen, 2009)
Course Record:  61 (Adam Scott, 2008)
Total Purse:  $2,500,000 (1,877,862 euros)
Payouts:  1st Place - $416,660; 2nd Place - $277,770; 3rd Place - $156,500
2012 Finish
Paul Lawrie #201Ricardo Gonzalez208
Peter Hanson205Soren Hansen208
Jason Day205Jean-Baptiste Gonnet208
John Daly207Three players at209
Sergio Garcia208

# - Weather-Shortened

Past Commercialbank Qatar Masters Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2012#Paul Lawrie (201) -- Peter Hanson, Jason Day
2011Thomas Bjorn (274) -- Alvaro Quiros
2010Robert Karlsson (273) -- Alvaro Quiros
2009Alvaro Quiros (269) -- Henrik Stenson, Louis Oosthuizen
2008Adam Scott (268) -- Henrik Stenson
2007Retief Goosen (273) -- Nick O'Hern
2006Henrik Stenson (273) -- Paul Broadhurst
2005Ernie Els (276) -- Henrik Stenson
2004Joakim Haeggman (272) -- Nobuhito Sato
2003*Darren Fichardt (275) -- James Kingston
2002Adam Scott (269) -- Jean-Francois Remesy, Nick Dougherty
2001Tony Johnstone (274) -- Robert Karlsson
2000Rolf Muntz (280) -- Ian Woosnam
1999Paul Lawrie (268) -- Soren Kjeldsen, Phillip Price
1998Andrew Coltart (270) -- Patrik Sjoland, Andrew Sherborne

* - Won in Playoff

# - Weather-Shortened

Top Contenders in the Field
Paul Lawrie---T-36T-69mcT-11T-25T-46mcT-19Won
Peter Hanson---T-50T-60mcT-37T-51T-31T-14T-70T-2
Sergio Garcia------------T-19T-7T-7T-24T-9T-5
Martin Kaymer---------------mcT-31T-32T-28T-9
G. Fdez-Castano---------T-37T-70T-33T-7T-32mcT-12
Thomas Bjorn---------T-9---T-33T-608thWonT-25
Retief Goosen------------Won---T-21T-9T-19T-47
Branden Grace---------------------------T-47
Thorbjorn Olesen------------------------mcT-59
Darren FichardtWonT-36T-323rd---------mcT-28mc
Henrik StensonT-30mc2ndWonT-72ndT-2T-64mcmc
Matteo Manassero---------------------------mc
Louis Oosthuizen---mcT-8T-62---T-25T-2T-14T-37---
Ernie Els------WonT-133rd---T-31---------
Justin Rose------------------mc---------
Jason Dufner------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Justin Rose
Darkhorse - David Howell
Last Week's Pick to Win (Tiger Woods) - Missed the cut
Last Week's Darkhorse (Thongchai Jaidee) - Finished tied for 9th
The European Tour travels to Qatar this week for the 16th annual Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, which boasts an outstanding field. Nine of the top-31 players in the world are in the field - Justin Rose (4), Louis Oosthuizen (5), American Jason Dufner (11), Peter Hanson (18), Sergio Garcia (19), 2012 British Open champion Ernie Els (23), Martin Kaymer (28), Branden Grace (30) and defending champion Paul Lawrie (31).

Rose finished in a tie for second last week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, losing by one stroke to Jamie Donaldson. Oosthuizen won the Volvo Golf Champions two weeks ago in South Africa in his last event. An Oosthuizen win would make him the first player to win in their opening two European Tour appearances of a calendar year since Charl Schwartzel in 2010. Dufner finished tied for 9th last week in his first appearance in Abu Dhabi and is making his first appearance in Qatar this week.

Doha Golf Club is a green oasis in the middle of the desert, complete with 10,000 different types of plants, shrubs and trees, and eight artificial lakes. The course is located in the West Bay Lagoons near the capital of Qatar. The course is owned by the State of Qatar and is one of the most luxurious golf clubs in the Middle East. The course layout features a premium on second shots. The par threes are some of the hardest holes on the course and the 9th, a par-5 of 639 yards, is one of the longest on tour.

Last year, Lawrie won in comfortable fashion, firing a 7-under 65 in the final round. The Scotsman was tied for the lead after eight holes, but played the last 10 in 6-under par to earn a 4-shot win over Hanson and Jason Day. The victory was Lawrie's seventh on the European Tour. The tournament was shortened to 54 holes when most of Friday's action was called off due to high winds. Lawrie will attempt to become the first back-to-back champion of this event. In addition, Lawrie is seeking to become the first three-time winner at Doha Golf Club, having also won here in 1999. Adam Scott, who owns the course record at 61, is the other two-time winner.

In 2009, Alvaro Quiros shot four rounds in the 60s to win his third European Tour title. He finished at 19-under-par 269 for a 3-shot win over Henrik Stenson and Oosthuizen. Quiros was the only player in the field to fire four rounds in the 60s. He matched the 54-hole record of 200 set by Lawrie in 1999.

Scott fired a course-record 61 in the final round of 2008 to win by three strokes over Stenson. Scott's 61 broke the course record of 63 set by Mark Pilkington and Robert Karlsson in 2001. It was the lowest round of Scott's career and the lowest final round by a winner on the European Tour since Jamie Spence shot 60 to win the 1992 European Masters. Scott finished the event at 20-under-par 268, which tied the tournament record set by Lawrie in 1999.

In 2007, Retief Goosen shot rounds of 65-68-71-69 to win. Goosen finished at 15-under-par 273 for a 1-shot win over Nick O'Hern. Goosen drained a 30-foot eagle putt on the final hole to overtake O'Hern for his 14th European Tour title. Goosen won a European Tour event nine consecutive years until 2008. O'Hern's second-place finish was the seventh of his career on the European Tour. He has the most runner-up finishes without a victory in European Tour history.

Els overcame a 5-stroke deficit in 2005 under windy conditions in the final round to capture this event. He fired a final-round, 7-under 65 to win by a stroke over Stenson at 12-under-par 276. His 5-stroke comeback equaled the best final-round comeback in event history. Joakim Haeggman accomplished the feat in 2004.

Stenson has an outstanding record at this tournament. He finished in 2nd (2005), won (2006), tied for 7th (2007), 2nd (2008) and tied for 2nd (2009). Stenson however, has missed the cut the past two seasons.

This tournament made European Tour history in 2004 when a total of 84 players made the cut, separated by just five strokes, the fewest number of shots between the 36-hole leaders and the cut line.

There has not been a wire-to-wire winner of this tournament. Stenson (2006) and Goosen (2007) both shared the lead after all rounds, but did not lead alone after every round.

This event marks the second of a three-week stay for the European Tour in the Middle East, now affectionately know as the "Gulf Swing." Donaldson captured the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship last week. Next week, the swing concludes with the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, where Rafael Cabrera-Bello won the 2012 event.

01/21 16:32:14 ET

As of January 21, 2013, at 04:32 PM ET