Doha: Louis Oosthuizen is the latest star name to commit to the $2.5m Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at Doha Golf Club, where he will compete for the first time since 2013.
Oosthuizen, 33, will join former champions Henrik Stenson (2006), Sergio Garcia (2014) and Branden Grace (2015) among the big draws at the 19th edition of The European Tour event from 27 – 30 January.
Runner-up in 2009, Oosthuizen will be trying to become the fifth South African to lift the Mother of Pearl Trophy, following Darren Fichardt (2003), Ernie Els (2005), Retief Goosen (2007) and Grace, the defending champion. “I’m looking forward to returning to Doha and playing in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, a tournament I’ve played many times before and one I’ve done quite well in, especially when I came close in 2009,” said Oosthuizen, who has played in the tournament eight times from 2004.
“I had a good season last year, especially in a couple of the Majors, and I’d like to start 2016 strongly and return to my very best form. Hopefully I can do well.”
Oosthuizen first earned global recognition when he romped to a seven-stroke victory in the 2010 Open Championship, while he now boasts seven European Tour titles and reached as high as World Number 4 in early 2013.
A man for the big occasion, the current World Number 18 has also finished runner-up in the Majors three times, after tying for second at both the US Open and Open Championship last year, in addition to losing a playoff at the 2012 Masters.
The smooth-swinging South African was also a star performer in The Presidents Cup last October, where he and Grace became the first International pair to win four matches against USA.
Oosthuizen said: “Branden has been in excellent form over the past year or so, and I’m sure he will be very keen to hold on to his title in Qatar. However, I’ll be looking to challenge for the title along with many other players, including some big names like Henrik [Stenson] and Sergio [Garcia] who have won there in the past, so it should be a great tournament.”
Hassan Al Nuaimi, President of the Qatar Golf Association, said: “We are delighted to welcome back Louis Oosthuizen for his ninth appearance at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
Like Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia, Louis is another star who has played here many times over the years and we really appreciate these big names coming to Doha time and time again.”
Stenson, Garcia and Grace are among several big names to have lifted the Mother of Pearl Trophy since Commercial Bank began its title sponsorship in 2006.
Other big names include former World Number 1 Adam Scott, two-time US Open winner Retief Goosen, 1999 Open Champion Paul Lawrie, former European Tour Number 1 Robert Karlsson and Thomas Bjørn, a 15-time European Tour champion.
Tickets are available to buy now at a range of outlets including Virgin Megastores (Online and in-store in Doha), Ticket Master, Time Out Tickets, Q Tickets, Doha Golf Club and more.