DOHA: Nailing a few birdies is fun - whether it’s on a golf course or on a shooting range. Just ask Robert Karlsson.
The 2010 Qatar Masters champion proved he is more than a decent hand with a rifle when he went clay-pigeon shooting in Doha yesterday.
The Swede, who has won 11 times on the European Tour, showed pinpoint accuracy by hitting multiple targets as he geared up for the Qatar Masters beginning today.
“I enjoy shooting. My father taught me when I was young, but I was a bit unsure about it until I was much older. Then I did my military service and learnt properly then,” said the 44-year-old.
Karlsson, who won the European Tour money list in 2008, is a big fan of the Qatar Masters and is set for his 13th appearance.
“I like the hotels in Qatar; I like the atmosphere at the golf tournament; I like the golf course. It’s a good event and the course has usually played pretty difficult, because it can be windy, and is usually quite a tough set-up on the golf course,” Karlsson said.
“It’s windy and the par-five ninth is very long (639 yards). If you play it well, you can be a couple under, but if not, you can be a couple over and that’s unusual for a par-five,” he said.
“It’s a little bit different to many other golf courses. Here you have to play a very patient game, take the birdies when they come and try to avoid making any mistakes.”
Meanwhile, Jason Dufner is eager to put his only previous experience at the Doha Golf Club to good use in the tournament.
One of the few Americans to have played the event, Dufner is making his second straight appearance hoping to go better than the tied ninth place finish he managed last year. By his own admission though, he has a formidable task on hand.
“It’s tough. It’s a long golf course,” Dufner told journalists yesterday.
“A lot of the par 5s are not reachable for me, so I need to be in the fairways. I need to wedge it well on those par 5s. The rough’s up this year a good bit.”
With the notorious Shamal desert wind proving a nightmare for many a player over the years, Dufner is preparing himself mentally for any eventuality on the course.AFP