Doha: Peter Hanson and Branden Grace have confirmed their attendance for next week’s US$2.5m Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, which will be held at Doha Golf Club from January 23 to 26.
Hanson will also be among five multiple winners on last year’s European Tour to compete in Qatar.
Grace, is one of golf’s most exciting young players and is looking to building on his breakthrough season as he competes in Doha for only the second time.
Hanson, 35, finished fourth in The Race to Dubai with over €3m in prize money after his best-ever season, as wins in September’s KLM Open in The Netherlands and October’s BMW Masters in China helped him break into the world’s top 20.
The six-time European Tour winner will join Justin Rose of England and Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa – second and third respectively in last year’s Race To Dubai – in a star-studded field in Doha, where Hanson was joint runner-up to Paul Lawrie of Scotland last February.
“I’ve been competing at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters for a long time and I always enjoy it. Last year was my best performance in Doha and was the start of a fantastic season for me, which included my second Ryder Cup appearance,” said Hanson, who will join European teammates Rose, Lawrie, Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer in Qatar.
“I’ve been playing the best golf of my life over the past year, but I’ve never won in Doha and it’s a course I know I can play well on. This will be my 12th time competing at the event and it’s nice to come back here after such a great season, especially after the Ryder Cup win,” he said.
He added: “Paul Lawrie played really well to win in Qatar last year and I think there will again be strong competition for the trophy.”
Hanson recorded seven top-five finishes on The 2012 European Tour, including a tie for third behind Bubba Watson and Oosthuizen in the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, his best finish in a Major. In August, he tied for seventh in the US PGA Championship in August, matching his placing in the 2011 US Open.
Oosthuizen, Lawrie and Bernd Wiesberger of Austria also won twice on last year’s European Tour and will compete in Qatar.
However, it was Grace who topped the list of European Tour wins in 2012 with four, claiming the Joburg Open and Volvo Golf Champions in South Africa in January, the Volvo China Open in April and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland in October. THE PENINSULA