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Qatar Masters preview: Follow Thorbjorn Olesen in the Middle East

The final regulation event of the DP World Tour season starts in the Middle East on Thursday – the Qatar Masters from Doha Golf Club.

WhatQatar Masters
WhereDoha Golf Club, Doha, Qatar
When04:00, Thursday, 26th October 2023
How to watchbet365 Live Golf Tracker & Sky Sports Golf
OddsThorbjorn Olesen 20/1, Jordan Smith 20/1, Aaron Rai 22/1, Rasmus Hojgaard 25/1, Alexander Bjork 25/1, Yannik Paul 28/1, Adrian Otaegui 28/1, Robert MacIntyre 28/1

The Qatar Masters is a huge tournament for players who are hovering in the lower reaches of the Race to Dubai. Finishing inside the top 116 guarantees a DP World Tour card for next season.

The Nedbank Challenge and the DP World Tour Championship are still to come this season, but those events are reserved for the elite of the circuit, so the strugglers know that this week's Qatar Masters is their last chance to secure their playing futures.

The players at the top of the market have no such concerns and different priorities. Thorbjorn Olesen, Jordan Smith, Aaron Rai, Rasmus Hojgaard and Alexander Bjork are the market principals, with many of them sensing an opportunity to gain a PGA Tour card.

The top 10 on the Race to Dubai at the end of this season will be awarded a PGA Tour card for next season – an enormous carrot. Olesen and Bjork have given themselves a great chance of securing a card by banking plenty of RTD points already. Rai already has a PGA Tour card.

Olesen and Smith can be backed at 20/1 for Qatar Masters glory. Smith won the Portugal Masters a year ago, but is winless since and 27th on the Race to Dubai. The Bath man needs a strong end to the season if he is to gain PGA Tour status.

Max Homa, Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose are among those who have entered the Nedbank Challenge, while Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are likely to be headlining the DP World Tour Championship field.

Each-way terms of a quarter the odds, the first five places are available for the Qatar Masters, as well as alternative terms like a fifth the odds, the first eight, and a seventh the odds, the first 10.

Qatar Masters course details

Doha Golf Club, Qatar is a 7,466-yard, par-72, with four par-fives, 10 par-fours and four par-threes.

Adam Scott, who carded a spectacular round of 61 in 2008, is the course-record holder.

There are five players in this week's field who have won this event at Doha in the past – Darren Fichardt, Alvaro Quiros, Jeunghun Wang, Eddie Pepperell and Ewen Ferguson.

Doha has been the traditional home of the Qatar Masters, staging the inaugural edition in 1998, then every year until 2020 – when Education City GC took over for two years.

Doha resumed hosting duties last year. The weather is crucial at Doha, an exposed track which can be bullied by big-hitters under calm skies, but becomes much more testing in wind. Relatively calm conditions are forecast this time, along with sunny and hot skies

Three to follow

Thorbjorn Olesen

A four-shot victory in the Thailand Classic in February was a seventh DP World Tour title for Thorbjorn Olesen – and the Dane will see the Qatar Masters as a wonderful opportunity to add to his trophy cabinet.

Olesen, who finished ninth in the Andalucia Masters on Sunday, has a superb record in the Middle East, including two top-three finishes in the Qatar Masters at Doha, and he can be backed at 20/1.

Robert MacIntyre

The Ryder Cup experience was a joyous one for Robert MacIntyre, who went unbeaten through three matches on his debut and beat US Open champion Wyndham Clark in the singles. MacIntyre has gained an extra layer of self-belief and could go well at 28/1 in the Qatar Masters.

MacIntyre finished 31st at Doha in his only previous appearance, but he was ranked 246th in the world. He returns this week as world number 57 – the highest-ranked player in the field.

Matthieu Pavon

Emotional Frenchman Matthieu Pavon won his maiden DP World Tour title in the Spanish Open the week before last and he could be set for a quick follow-up. The 33/1 about Pavon winning in Qatar will tempt many given he has a solid desert record and is in blistering form.

Pavon has DPWT form figures of 6-1-9, having finished with rounds of 67, 68 and 69 in Andalucia last week.

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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