2 Qataris among top 15 finishers on Day I
MIR BASIT HUSSAIN
Doha The 26th edition of the Qatar Open Amateur Golf Championship teed off in Doha on Thursday. Altogether 110 amateurs from 26 countries have arrived in Doha to participate in the three-day tournament. Notably, 11 golfers from the host country are also taking part in the event. The opening day was full of action as each player tried to outwit others to get the lead. However, at the end of the day, Christian Eisenring of Mexico and William Shucksmith of England were leading the pack with a score of 72 each. Two entrants from Qatar, Saleh Ali Musbah and Abdul Rehman Mufleh, also performed well and were among the top 15 finishers. Musbah and Mufleh finished the day with scores of 76 and 79 respectively. Mike Shoueiry, a technical expert at Qatar Golf Association, said that local players would have to toil hard to leave an imprint on the circuit. "They did not fare badly today. But if they want to catch Shucksmith and Christian, they have to improve their performance manifold," said Shoueiry.
Though Qatari golfers did not make a wave, they did make their presence felt. "Saleh, who is so far the leading scorer from Qatar, had to appear in his high school examination today. Unflustered, he came back to the golf course to putt the ball into the hole," said Shoueiry. "The first two days are crucial as each player tries to take as much lead as possible to relive pressure on the final day," added Shoueiry. He said that the game was still wide open and anything can happen on the last day. "It's still early to predict who is going to win the game. All the players have ample opportunities to change the complexion of the entire game," he added.
Many feel that this tournament offers a great opportunity to rookies to learn from the masters of this game. "Just playing with the masters of this game is a satisfying experience," said Musbah. For the past three editions, England's Max Williams had been the winner and he has already secured a berth in the masters. Qatar has managed to win the title only once at the inaugural edition in 1983. Bahrain has captured the title 12 times out of the 26 editions, winning 11 in a row.