SOUTH Africa’s Ernie Els, who won the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters Pro-Am for the second straight year, gave his best shot to earn a share of the 13th place.
He impressed with 68 in his opening and final rounds, and scored 70 and 71 in between.
The 47-year-old, who had won the Qatar Masters on his debut in 2005, was playing at the Doha Golf Club for the ninth time — and fifth in a row.
The four-time Major winner has always been a crowd favourite in Doha and it was no different this time with a large number of people flocking to watch the senior pro.
“My win here in 2005 was a while ago now, but this was my ninth appearance, and fifth in a row. I love this tournament. Also, it’s a course that I feel very comfortable on and always enjoy the playing conditions,” said Els.
Leading his Pro-Am team featuring Rachid Aki, Chawki Harb and Matthew Moucharafleh, Els won the traditional curtain-raiser.
“Last year I started this tournament hitting 18 greens in regulation for a stress-free, bogey-free 68. When you’re talking about momentum, that’s the kind of start you need. Playing in the 20th edition of the tournament was quite special. The physical aspects of my game are in good shape. I’m swinging the club nicely and hitting a lot of quality shots right through the bag. I’m rolling the ball nicely on the greens as well,” added Els.