Posted on January 15, 2017

Ryder Cup star Rafa Cabrera-Bello will attempt to become the third Spanish winner of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters when he competes in the landmark 20th edition of the European Tour event at Doha Golf Club from January 26-29. Cabrera-Bello enjoyed arguably his best-ever year in 2016, finishing eighth on The Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex – despite not adding to his two European Tour titles – and shone on his debut at both the Olympic Games and The Ryder Cup.

As well as securing seven top-five finishes on the European Tour and PGA TOUR last year, the Spaniard tied for fifth in the Olympics in Rio in August, was undefeated at September’s Ryder Cup in the USA and led Spain to eighth place at November’s ISPA HANDA World Cup of Golf in Australia. This month, the 32 year old will compete in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters for an eighth straight year as he endeavours to emulate compatriots Sergio Garcia (2014) and Alvaro Quiros (2009) by lifting the Mother of Pearl Trophy. Cabrera-Bello has already come close on three occasions, finishing joint runner-up last January after tieing for third in 2011 and 2014, the year he missed out on the playoff between Garcia and Mikko Ilonen by one shot.

“I definitely feel like I can win the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, I have been very close in the past. I really like the course at Doha Golf Club and I know I can play well on it,” said Cabrera-Bello, who last month teed off his 2017 European Tour season by finishing runner-up at the UBS Hong Kong Open, after leading for the first three days. “I’m always comfortable playing in Qatar as the weather is so similar to the Canary Islands where I come from. It’s sunny, there’s usually a nice breeze and it’s quite cool, so I really feel at home. The fans are nice and there’s always a relaxed atmosphere.”

After his tie for second in Qatar last January, Cabrera-Bello followed up with another joint runner-up finish in Dubai the following week. In April, he broke into the top 30 of the Official World Golf Ranking after the Masters Tournament and has since remained around that mark, ending 2016 as World Number 27. Cabrera-Bello represented Spain alongside Garcia at the Rio Olympics before partnering his famed compatriot in the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National, recording a win and a draw before he beat Jimmy Walker in Sunday’s singles.

Rafa Cabrera-Bello continues 2 [qatarisbooming.com].jpg

Cabrera-Bello then took on the senior role at the World Cup where he partnered rookie Jon Rahm and gave Spain the first-round lead with a birdie putt on 18. However, as he looks to add to victories in 2009 and 2012, Cabrera-Bello has had enough of fast starts and close finishes, having amassed seven runner-up finishes and seven thirds on the European Tour. “I’ve finished high up the leaderboard many times, but I’m very patient and know my next victory will come,” he said. “I’m playing well and as long as I remain consistent, another win will come. I think I have a good chance in Qatar and will certainly give it my best shot.”

Hassan Al Naimi, President of the Qatar Golf Association, said: “Rafa Cabrera-Bello has been one of the most consistent performers at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in recent years and is always popular because of his friendly nature and rapport with the fans.“We were all delighted to see him perform so well last year, shining on a big stage at the Olympics and then excelling on his Ryder Cup debut. He’s playing as well as he ever has, so it would be no surprise if he’s again contending on the final day at Doha Golf Club.”

First held in 1998, the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters has helped establish Qatar as a world-class sporting venue and is considered the country’s annual ‘must-attend’ sporting and social event. Sitting at the heart of the European Tour’s Middle East swing, the tournament attracted over 25,000 spectators in 2016 and was broadcast to a global TV audience of over 400 million. Tickets for the 20th Commercial Bank Qatar Masters are now available for purchase at Virgin Megastores (online and in-store in Doha), Doha Golf Club, St Regis Hotel Doha, Intercontinental Hotel Doha, Radisson Blu Hotel Doha, Fnac Lagoona Mall and online on the following websites: q-tickets.com, 800tickets.com and iloveqatar.net. Tickets are priced as follows, starting at QAR150:

Tournament day

Ticket type

Ticket price

Thursday 26 January

General admission ticket

QAR 150

Friday 27 January

General admission ticket

QAR 200

Saturday 28 January

General admission ticket

QAR 200

Sunday 29 January

General admission ticket

QAR 200

Season Pass Thursday to Sunday

Includes general admission on all four days

QAR 450

Entry is free for children under 14 years of age. For those looking for an extra-special experience with the best views of the course and an exclusive culinary experience hospitality packages are now available to purchase through the tournament’s official website qatar-masters.com/hospitality.

Official Website: qatar-masters.com; Hospitality: qatar-masters.com/hospitality; Facebook: facebook.com/CommercialBankQatarMasters; Twitter: @CBQatarMasters; Instagram: @CBQatarMasters; Official hashtag: #MyCBQatarMasters

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