Day, currently ranked as World No.10, missed the cut at his debut Middle Eastern golf tournament last week in Abu Dhabi but apparently has been battling some health issues of late.
Day and America’s Hunter Mahan are being promoted at the tournament as the big “international” stars from the US PGA Tour and Westwood has been pushing the 24 year old Australian’s credentials.
World No.3 Westwood is the highest ranked player in what is a quality field and said of Day this week:
“I was asked at the end of last week who will have a big year, and the only one I picked out was Jason Day. Not because he was the only one who will have a big year, but I think he’s a talented player and people probably look over him. He gets overlooked quite a bit, and obviously by saying that I put the curse on him and he missed the cut!”
The 7,388-yard Doha course is widely considered the toughest Middle East challenge on The European Tour.
“Apparently the rough’s not as long as it was last year, but the weather man says it’s going to be fairly windy,” Westwood said. “And when it’s like that around here, it’s a really tough test.
“Sometimes you come to a golf course and you remember people shooting low scores – Adam Scott a few years ago shot 62 in the last round to win. And you get it in your head that it’s a 20 under par winning golf course.
“But if the wind really pumps this week, it could quite easily be an eight under or nine under par winning golf course. You just have to play every hole and every shot on its merits and not get too preoccupied with the previous years.”
There will be no Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy this week but the field includes Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Sergio Garcia, KJ Choi, Alvaro Quiros, Matteo Mannasero, Todd Hamilton, Shaun Micheel, Ben Curtis, Retief Goosen, Michael Campbell and Paul Lawrie.
The other Australian starters are Marcus Fraser, Richard Green, Andrew Dodt, Matthew Zions and Brett Rumford.
The 2012 Qatar Masters is being telecast in Australia on Fox Sports with the first round coverage scheduled for Thursday 9pm to 1am.
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