50/151.00 Pablo Larrazabal has twice been R1 leader at Doha
66/167.00 Adri Arnaus is a desert specialist back in form
66/167.00 Scott Jamieson has incentive and desert R1 history
Weather forecast for Thursday
No surprises to see the forecast showing yellow discs of sun. Temperatures will already be in the 80s for the very early starters and they'll move towards the mid-90s in the afternoon.
Winds look set to pick up in mid-afternoon although note that the final tee-times are 12.10 local time.
It may just be that the early starters have it slightly better so I'll pick two who go out before 7am and another who heads out later in the morning.
Pablo Larrazabal didn't hit the heights on home soil last week when missing the cut in Andalucia but how about some deja vu all over again at Doha.
The Spaniard has twice been the first-round leader on this course, the first achieved via a 65 in 2016 and the second thanks to an opening 64 last year.
With two top fives in his latest three starts at Doha, the nine-time DP World Tour winner is a big fan of this track and although he missed last week's cut at Sotogrande (a course he said he'd never played before), prior to that Larrazabal had posted a top 20 at the Open de Espana.
Before that he'd set out with a 67 in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth to end day one in fourth so the signs look good ahead of his 06.40 tee-time from the 10th.
Spaniards have a fine record in Doha, perhaps due to the familiar warm and windy conditions, so I'll also add in Adri Arnaus, a 10.50 starter from the 10th tee.
The 29-year-old was the first-round leader on his debut at Doha in 2019 thanks to a 67 and was also the day one pacesetter in the 2018 Challenge Tour Grand Final in the United Arab Emirates.
Arnaus's record in the UAE is stellar and in two of his last four visits he's made fast starts: 67s in both the 2022 DP World Tour Championship and 2023 Dubai Desert Classic putting him fourth and seventh respectively after Thursday's play.
Earlier this month following a dip in form he enjoyed a piece of the first-round lead in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland after a superb 65 at Carnoustie while he was 12th after the opening lap at last week's Andalucia Masters.
This is the last-chance saloon for those looking to secure full playing privileges for 2024 and at the moment Scott Jamieson is on the outside looking in.
The Scot, who goes out in the first group from the 10th tee at 06.00, is 119th on the Race to Dubai and only the top 116 get cards.
Although both were at Education City when the tournament moved there for the 2020 and 2021 editions, Jamieson has been in the top 10 in his last two Qatar Masters starts.
His record at Doha is patchy but he shot middle rounds of 69-68 on his last visit in 2019 to lie 17th after 54 holes and he's made quick starts at last month's European Masters (64) and the recent Alfred Dunhill Links (66).
Also taking the eye is that Jamieson was the first-round leader in two desert events last year: the Abu Dhabi Championship (63) and the Ras al Khaimah Championship (65). He was also fifth after 18 holes in Abu Dhabi earlier this year.