DP World Tour - Golf: South African challenge will be strong in Qatar

23 March 2022 19:31:35 GMTPlus10
George Coetzee will aim to continue a strong South African tradition in Doha

The DP World Tour moves to Doha this week, with the Qatar Masters getting underway on Thursday morning UK time.

This is the 25th edition of this tournament and there have been six South African victors since the inaugural tournament in 1998, this week could see another one collect the $333,300 first prize money.

Coetzee primed for Doha challenge

This year's event moves back to the Doha Golf Club, after the Education City course played host in both 2020 and 2021.

The last time the Doha GC held this tournament was in 2019, with South Africa's Justin Harding finishing top of the leaderboard after claiming a two-shot victory.

No fewer than nine players tied for second that year and one of those was Harding's fellow countryman George Coetzee. The man from Pretoria carded three rounds of 68 and it was Saturday's 73 that contributed to him falling just short.

Coetzee, who is 20/1 to win the tournament, goes into this week's event after a top-25 finish at the Steyn City Championship and is currently 35th in the Race to Dubai rankings.

Bekker can make Qatar victory bid

Another South African could be high up the leaderboard come the weekend, with Oliver Bekker getting closer to securing his first DP World Tour title.

A seven-time winner on the Sunshine Tour, the 37-year-old finished tied-third at Steyn City in what has been an excellent year to date and he is 33/1 to win this week.

Bekker's last five tournaments have seen him finish T3-T11-T8-T9-T9 and his three-ball this week could bring the best out in the veteran, as he plays alongside fellow countryman Zander Lombard over the first two days.

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Arnaus could get off to a flyer

Adri Arnaus is one of three Spanish golfers in the top-25 of the DP World Tour standings and at the age of 27, is one player who looks to be on the up in 2022.

He missed out in a three-way play-off for the MyGolfLife Open earlier this year, which is one of three top-10 finishes already this season.

Arnaus finished T14 in 2019, when this event was last held at the Doha GC, carding an opening round 67. That was enough to give him a share of the first-round lead and the man from Barcelona is available at 30/1 to be the first-round leader this time around.

Elvira offers an outside chance

For those eyeing a big-price challenger this week, Spaniard Nacho Elvira could be one to consider – with the 35-year-old available at 80/1.

Last year's Cazoo Open winner was one of the nine players to finish in a tie for second in Qatar back in 2019, so has shown his game suits this 7,401 yard course.

Elvira goes into this week's event off the back of an improved performance in South Africa last week, where he carded three sub-70 rounds at the Steyn City Championship.

The man from Madrid is ranked 48th in the DP World rankings and a win this week would rocket him up the standings and boost his chances of making the Race to Dubai finale.

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