Published: 11:08 22/01/2013
The Gulf swing moves to the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in Doha. The 7374 yard golf course offers it fair share of hazards to navigate and is prone to gusty and windy conditions which can test the best of the players assembled. Last year the course was so windy that the tournament was reduced to three rounds with Paul Lawrie winning the trophy.
Good ball strikers prosper on this course and one of the best is Sergio Garcia. He has had four top ten finishes in this event, and will be hoping to continue his form from the end of last year where he won the Johor Open in Asia. I always feel that you can only back Garcia when his mental attitude to the game is right, and he is showing all the signs that he is enjoying his golf again. In previous seasons his putting stroke was so indifferent that it was destroying his confidence and resulted in a man starting to look rather petulant and bitter about his lot. Now the putter is starting to work again and I'm expecting a big week from the mercurial spaniard.
Another great ball striker is Peter Hanson. Last week he was a fast finishing ninth and he was tied for second place here last year. It's obviously a course that suits his eye, and it would be no surprise if he goes close this week.
Other names to mention that could go well are Henrik Stenson and Thorbjorn Olesen. Stenson has gone well in the past year, but his putting statistics have been over 30 a round at times. I would like to see that improve before backing him. I would not put anyone backing Olesen as his swing was right in the slot last week and he regularly gave himself multiple birdie opportunities. However I will reluctantly pass him by this week as I'm not sure how much that effort has took out of him.
Sergio Garcia EW - 12/1 six places, Stan James
Peter Hanson EW - 16/1 five places, bet365/Paddy Power/Betfred