January 30, 2017
South Korea's Jeunghun Wang rolled in a 3-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole to win the Qatar Masters after a three-way playoff on Sunday, clinching his third title on the European Tour.
The 21-year-old Wang, who took a three-stroke lead into the final round, shot a 1-under 71 and was joined in the playoff by South Africa's Jaco van Zyl (68) and Sweden's Joakim Lagergren (66). The trio finished on a 16-under 272 total.
On the first playoff hole - the par-5 No. 18 - Van Zyl three-putted for par and Lagergren also could only make a par after finding the fairway bunker.
Wang was named Rookie of the Year on the European Tour last season.
It was the 60th-ranked Wang's third win on the European Tour in just 29 starts, having won twice in May last year.
France's Mike Lorenzo-Vera (66) made a remarkable charge and reached 17 under with two holes to play, but back-to-back bogeys saw him drop to a share of fourth place with South Africa's Thomas Aiken (68) on 15 under.
Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello (68) and Nacho Elvira (70) were tied sixth, one shot further behind, along with England's Jordan Smith (66).
On the extra hole, Wang was left with a three-foot birdie putt after his chipped attempt went close. Van Zyl had looked the favorite after finding the No. 18 green in two shots, but he made his second three-putt of the day to settle for a par.
Lagergren hit his second shot into the greenside bunker, and then found himself needing a 25-foot birdie putt to prolong the playoff.
Wang, who was playing in his first Qatar Masters, started with two successive birdies, but had to wait 14 holes before getting his third on the 16th hole, with bogeys on Nos. 14 and 17.
''I really didn't expect that I would win this week, I just kept trying to make birdies, trying to save par and finally won,'' said Wang, who added he was lucky on the playoff hole.
''I pulled my second shot in the playoff, I thought it was going to be in the water.''
Van Zyl, who is yet to win on the Tour despite finishing runner-up on five occasions, rued his poor putting despite making a fast start with four birdies in his first five holes.
''Unfortunately, I hit a couple of good putts that just didn't go in,'' said the 36-year-old South African.
Lagergren is also still to win on the European Tour.
''Can't complain about the second place, but obviously a lot of disappointment right now,'' said the 25-year-old Swede, who had five straight birdies from the eighth hole onward.
The European Tour now moves on to Dubai for the Desert Classic, the third and last leg of the Desert Swing, from Feb. 2.
January 29, 2017
Jeunghun Wang broke through a crowded leaderboard with a 7-under 65 in Saturday's third round to open a three-shot lead at the Qatar Masters.
The 21-year-old South Korean, who is 15-under 201 overall, made three birdies around the turn to grab the lead, and never relinquished it with two birdies in his last three holes.
It was the best round on another windy day in Doha.
Spain's Nacho Elvira and South African Jaco van Zyl both shot 4-under 68s to tie for second place at 12 under.
Another South African, Thomas Aiken (69), was a shot further behind in fourth.
Wang, a back-to-back winner on the European Tour last year in May at the Trophee Hassan II and AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, put up an exhibition of shot-making, hitting 16 out of 18 greens in regulation and also completing his round in just 27 putts. He went out in 33, and came back in 32.
''My iron play was really good today and my putting was really good,'' said Wang, now ranked 60th in the world.
Elvira could have finished much closer to Wang, but a poor tee shot cost him a double bogey on the par-4 15th.
''I think it's a great round today with these wind conditions,'' said the 29-year-old Elvira, who is yet to win on the European Tour.
Van Zyl was left slightly disappointed despite a bogey-free round of 68. He made only one birdie on the four par-5s, and also missed a couple of short birdie chances.
''I have been hitting it nicely, so yeah, obviously it's a good score. But really felt like I left quite a lot out there,'' he said.
Ernie Els (71) was tied 18th at 7 under, while Martin Kaymer improved to tied 23rd with a 4-under 68.
There was a nine-way tie for the lead ahead of the third round, a European Tour record.
The last time nine players were tied on top was after the first round of the 1997 Wales Open, but this was the first time in Tour history so many had led after 36 holes.
January 28, 2017
Welsh golfer Bradley Dredge still led the Qatar Masters after the renowned gusts returned for the second round on Friday, but he had company.
Eight others caught him to create a nine-way tie for the lead, a European Tour record.
The last time nine players were tied on top was after the first round of the 1997 Wales Open, but this was the first time in Tour history so many led after 36 holes.
Dredge was the only one of the nine not to finish under par. His par-72 gave him an 8-under total of 136.
The gusts made playing more difficult in the afternoon, and only three players from the afternoon groups - South Korea's Wang Jeunghun (67), South Africa's Jaco van Zyl (69), Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (70) - managed to make a move.
Morning players including Spain's Jorge Campilo (67), South African Thomas Aiken (68) and England's Ryder Cup star Andy Sullivan (68) were all bogey-free for their rounds. Finland's Mikko Kornohen, who shot a 65 in the opening round, also joined the leaders with a 71 that included a double bogey on the ninth hole. Another Spaniard, Nacho Alvira (69), completed the group.
Another seven players were one shot behind, and 10 players, including world No. 10 Alex Noren of Sweden (70), the highest ranked player in the field, and Ernie Els (70) were two shots back.
The day's best round was a 6-under 66 by England's Jordan Smith, who graduated after winning the European Challenge Tour Order of Merit last year, and American David Lipsky.
Among those who missed the cut at 2-under 142 was Tommy Fleetwood of England, who won in Abu Dhabi last week but finished at 2 over this week. Two-time major champion Martin Kaymer of Germany squeezed through for the weekend exactly on the cutline.
January 27, 2017
With the usual gusty winds absent from Doha Golf Club, Bradley Dredge fired a bogey-free 8-under-par 64 to open up a one-shot lead in the Qatar Masters on Thursday.
In unusually benign conditions, 84 players broke par in the first round.
Mikko Kornohen of Finland, who has two top-10s this season, came in bogey free as well with a 65.
Former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, who has slipped to 91 in the world rankings following a winless 2016, was tied for third at 6-under 66 with the in-form Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand and Nathan Kimsey of England.
Dredge, chasing his first win since the 2006 European Masters, has enough experience of the tricky Doha Golf Club having played in 15 previous Qatar Masters. He tied for fourth last year.
He started his round in the afternoon and made the turn at 3 under. On the back nine, the Welshman made five birdies in his first seven holes, and missed chances on the 17th and 18th.
''The greens are probably slightly less grainy than normal,'' he said. ''Felt as though I really got my eye in today, apart from my last two putts.''
Dredge wished the day was windier.
''I understood that, today, the scoring was going to be good,'' he said. ''It was the opportunity to go at more flags and get the ball a bit closer to the hole. Without the wind, it makes it a lot easier to get the score going.''
McDowell started from the 10th tee and barged out in style, completing his first nine at 6 under. The birdies dried up on the more difficult front nine, as he came back with a birdie and a bogey.
Alex Noren of Sweden, the highest ranked player in the field at No. 10, shot 68 and was tied for 14th with Ernie Els.
|T2||RSA||Jaco Van Zyl||-16||-||67||69||68||68||272|
|T6||ESP||Rafael Cabrera Bello||-14||-||70||70||66||68||274|
|CUT||ESP||Eduardo De La Riva||Par||-||72||72||-||-||144|
|CUT||-||Magnus A. Carlsson||1||-||73||72||-||-||145|
|CUT||POR||Ricardo Melo Gouveia||3||-||71||76||-||-||147|
|CUT||-||Pierre Verlaar Jr.||6||-||77||73||-||-||150|
|CUT||MOR||Younes El Hassani||6||-||71||79||-||-||150|
|CUT||-||Jose Maria Olazabal||8||-||75||77||-||-||152|
|CUT||QAT||Saleh Al Kaabi||8||-||76||76||-||-||152|
|CUT||-||Abdulrahman Al Shahrani||26||-||84||86||-||-||170|