Doha: The ‘Qatar Masters’ team of Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer defeated ‘Football Masters’ Gordon Strachan, Andy Gray and Chris Coleman in a golf and football target challenge ahead of this week’s Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at Doha Golf Club.
The ‘Commercial Bank Masters Shootout’ between the golf stars and football legends was held at the new QAFCO Family Zone and featured three different targets, each offering 10, 20 and 50 points depending on accuracy.
Every player first kicked a tennis ball at the target and after all six players had a shot, they each used a plastic golf club to chip the ball at the target from a longer distance.
Surprisingly, three of the world’s best golfers were initially better at the kicking than the golf – all are capable footballers – but two showed their short-game prowess at the crucial time, with first Martin Kaymer and then Sergio Garcia each nailing 50 points with their final golf shots to secure victory.
“That was good fun,” said Stenson, the World No. 3 and winner of last year’s Race to Dubai and FedEx Cup.
“I probably overachieved on the football part. I got a 50 on my first kick, but I guess the golf part was a little bit tougher. It took a little time to get used to the club and I never got used to it. Luckily the boys came good at the end.”
The star-studded shootout also doubled as the launch of United Through Golf, a programme initiated by Doha Golf Club designed to promote the sport and its core values in the local community. Stenson believes what he’s seen in the Family Zone could prove a winning attraction this week and in the future.
“It’s a good, fun way to try playing golf, especially for kids and because you can have a relaxed little competition with your friends as well. It’s a nice initiative, a fun way to do it and it’s absolutely the right way to get kids to start playing. Hopefully that will attract a few more youngsters to our game.”
Strachan, the current Scotland manager, said the shootout brought back memories of his own penalty-taking days during a career that included 50 caps for Scotland and starring roles for Aberdeen, Manchester United and Leeds United.
“The golfers can handle the pressure and that’s why they’re at the top of their game. They’re Ryder Cup players and when it comes to pressure, that’s nothing to them,” said the 56-year-old former winger, who competed at the 1982 and 1986 World Cups.