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  • Writer's pictureNate (@WeKnowFantasy)

Out of the Rough: Qatar Masters (2024)


Just three months after the 26th edition, the DP World Tour takes to Qatar for the 27th playing of the Qatar Masters.


It was 19 months between the 2022 and 2023 editions of this event and now just three months between the 2023 and 2024 playing.


The Qatar Masters served as the final regular season event of the 2023 DP World Tour season.


This is also the final week in the Middle-East for the DP World Tour before a week off and the beginning of the International Swing in Kenya.


This event has been a part of the schedule since 1998.


It will once again be played at the Doha Golf Club. It was held for a brief two year stint at Education City between 2020 and 2021. It has been held at Doha Golf Club for every other installment.


The Field

Sami Valimaki won this event last year in a playoff with Jorge Campillo. He won’t be returning this year to defend his title as he’s state side playing in the PGA Tour.


This week’s field consists of much of what we’ve seen during the first month of the season.


It’s headlined by heavy favorite Rasmus Hojgaard.


Joining Hojgaard are the likes of Yannik Paul, Zander Lombard, Thriston Lawrence, Sebastian Soderberg and Antoine Rozner.


Ewen Ferguson used this event in 2022 as his maiden DP World Tour victory and is back this week in attempts to win yet again.


Other former winners of this event in this week’s field include Rozner (2021,) Campillo (2020,) Eddie Pepperell (2018,) Jeunghun Wang (2017,) Chris Wood (2013,) Alvaro Quiros (2009) and Darren Fichartd (2003.)


The Course

Doha Golf Club in Doha, Qatar is this week’s host and plays as a Par 72 at 7,466 yards.


It was designed by Peter Harradine, the man also responsible for the Abu Dhabi Golf Club.


This course underwent some significant changes between the 2019 and 2022 editions as the course was revamped.


The greens of the par five ninth and 18th holes were combined to form one big green. Additionally, all of the greens were changed from Bermuda to a strain of paspalum called Dynasty Grass.


Additionally, the majority of the greens were expanded back to their original sizes and reverted back to their original slopes and elevations.


The intention of these revamped greens were for them to run at around 11.5 on the Stimpmeter, which is slightly faster than the previous installments. 


The fairways this week run average in terms of width and the rough is essentially non-penal.


There is water in play on six holes (three, eight, nine, 13, 15 and 18.) Both the front and back nine end on a par five as well.


The four par fives featured this week must be attacked as they annually average below par. The driveable par four 16th plays as the easiest hole on the course as well.


Doha Golf Club is a very exposed course that is more susceptible to high winds that will play its part in the outcome this week.


Such happenings took place in 2022 with weekend weather conditions being far from ideal as Ferguson shot a final round of 70 to secure a one-stroke victory.


The Weather

As of the time of writing this, the weather looks ideal for this week in Qatar. There is a 25-percent chance of precipitation for Sunday but the rest of the week looks clear. Temperatures will range from 72-to-74 degrees across all four days. Winds may be a factor in the early going as they are set at 15 miles-per-hour for Thursday and 14 miles-per-hour for Friday before settling to seven-and-nine miles-per-hour respectively for Saturday and Sunday. In all, it should be a great week for golf.


Key Stats

  • Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: APP)

  • Strokes Gained: Putting (SG: PUTT)

  • Strokes Gained: Around the Green (SG: ATG)

  • Average Driving Distance

  • Scrambling

  • Birdie or Better Percentage

  • Bogey Avoidance

  • Greens in Regulation Percentage (GIR%)

  • Par Five Average Scoring


Betting Card

Zander Lombard (+2000)

I just can’t stop betting Lombard, especially in this Middle-East swing. He’s fresh off a T2nd at last week’s Bahrain Championship and also placed T13th at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship, T16th at the Hero Dubai Classic and T6th at the Dubai Invitational. He also went T25th at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, T12th at the South African Open and T4th at the Joburg Open. In other words, his worst finish through the first seven events of the season has been T25th. He’s currently seventh on Tour in bogey avoidance, 14th in average driving distance, 15th in birdie or better percentage, 17th in scrambling, 20th in par five average scoring, 22nd in both SG: PUTT and SG: ATG, 25th in GIR% and 38th in SG: APP. In other words, he’s top 38 on Tour in each of the nine statistical categories I took into consideration this week. I’m playing two units on him.


Frederic LaCroix (+3500)

Right behind Lombard in terms of golfers I can’t stop betting is LaCroix. Like Lombard, LaCroix has been in some great form to start the season. He’s fresh off a T4th at last week’s Bahrain Championship and also placed third at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship. LaCroix also placed T5th at the South African Open and T17th at the Joburg Open. He’s rattled off three consecutive top five finishes and is knocking on the door of a victory. He’s currently third on Tour in birdie or better percentage, eighth in SG: APP, ninth in average driving distance, 13th in GIR%, 16th in scrambling, 18th in both SG: ATG and par five average scoring, 20th in bogey avoidance and 77th in SG: PUTT. In other words, he’s top 20 in eight-of-the-nine statistical categories I took into consideration this week. I’m playing a unit on him.


Rikuya Hoshino (+4000)

Hosinho hasn’t had the best stay in the Middle-East with two missed cuts at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship and Hero Dubai Classic but bounced back last week with a T12th at the Bahrain Championship. He also placed second earlier this season at both the Australian Open and Australian PGA Championship in a field consisting of many PGA and LIV Tour stars. He’s currently fourth on Tour in bogey avoidance, seventh in SG: APP, 21st in scrambling, 30th in GIR%, 48th in birdie or better percentage, 57th in SG: ATG, 58th in SG: PUTT, 77th in average driving distance and 82nd in par five average scoring. I’m playing a unit on him as well.


Haotong Li (+15000)

Li was electric to start his Middle-East swing with a T14th at the Dubai Invitational and a T7th at the Hero Dubai Classic. He made the cut in his last outing at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship as well. He’s currently fifth on Tour in birdie or better percentage, eighth in par five average scoring, tenth in SG: PUTT, 11th in SG: APP, 21st in bogey avoidance, 36th in average driving distance, 38th in scrambling and 78th in GIR%. His downfall comes around the green as he ranks 144th of 145 qualifying golfers. He can hope he doesn’t need to rely on his chipping game this week. He’s worth a flier in my opinion. I’m playing a unit on him.

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