As the countdown begins to the 2009 Commercialbank Qatar Masters, presented by Dolphin Energy event officials have announced major ambitions for Qatar’s premier sporting occasion.
The Commercialbank Qatar Masters organising committee has already addressed the key elements for the twelfth staging of the tournament scheduled for 22-25 January 2009 at Doha Golf Club.
But with golf in the region enjoying a boom as other tournaments and courses flourish in neighbouring Gulf countries, the Committee has a long-term vision for the future of the game in Qatar.
“Obviously our focus is on the event in January and to that end we have spent a great deal of time planning and addressing such key topics as star players, event sponsorship and the general day-to-day procedures that are associated with a sporting event of this magnitude,” said Hassan Al Nuaimi of The Qatar Golf Association.
“However, we would be short-sighted in not planning even further ahead. Over the past three years, the tournament has grown beyond all recognition thanks to the hard work put in by the Qatar Olympic Committee, the Qatar Golf Association, the title sponsors Commercialbank, and Doha Golf Club.
“Our aim now is to put into place strategic plans that will take the tournament not just into 2009 and 2010 but as far ahead as 2015. People all over the world now know of the tournament and, since we now have their attention, it is important we continue to push on and take it to the next level.”
Thanks to the appearance of star players such as current champion Adam Scott, former title holders Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, a host of European Ryder Cup players, the backing of local and international sponsors and the appearance of celebrities from sport and entertainment, the Commercialbank Qatar Masters, presented by Dolphin Energy, enjoys a high global profile.
More than 16,000 spectators enjoyed free access to the tournament – unheard of at other European Tour events in the Middle East – while the winner’s cheque collected by Scott for clinching his second Qatar crown was bigger than those picked up by Tiger Woods in Dubai and Martin Kaymer in Abu Dhabi.
Scott’s thrilling course record 61 and crowning as the new champion was the fitting end to a tournament that was also attended by HH The Emir of the state of Qatar, HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
“We’ve made the event very appealing for both fans and players alike,” said Andrew Stevens, Group CEO of Commercialbank. “However, we are well aware that other tournaments will be equally determined to place their events in the world spotlight. As far as we are concerned, what we have done so far is only the beginning.”
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