THE EUROPEAN TOUR is in the middle of its three week desert swing with the second leg underway at the Doha Golf Club in Qatar.
The Qatar Masters is one of the few tournaments in the world that runs from Wednesday to Saturday (Sunday here is a work day) and though it has lost star duo Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson from last week, it still features a high quality field.
Top ranked golfers taking part in the 2014 version include Henrik Stenson (World #3), Sergio Garcia (#11), Jason Dufner (current US PGA Champion and world #13), Luke Donald (#20), Thomas Bjorn (#23), Ernie Els (#29), Miguel Angel Jimenez (#37), Martin Kaymer (#44), Thongchai Jaidee (#47) and Branden Grace (#50).
Defending champion is England’s Chris Wood while the winner last week in Abu Dhabi, Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal, is also hoping to back up well.
The Aussie contingent includes last week’s best performer Wade Ormsby, Richard Green, Marcus Fraser and Brett Rumford.
Coetzee leads after 64
South Africa’s George Coetzee led after the first round after a brilliant eight under par 64 with fellow countryman Van der Walt sharing second place a shot further back alongside Englishman Steve Webster, who holed his second shot on the par five 1st hole for an albatross.
Omsby was again doing the best of the Aussies, opening with an even par 72.
2014 Qatar Masters Leaderboard2014 Qatar Masters Leaderboard