Andy Swales provides the stats for this week's Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, as the European Tour tees-up in the Persian Gulf for a fifth time in 2020...
"Paul Waring, a one-time winner on the European Tour, enjoyed a steady, if not spectacular, autumn and will feel quietly confident he can double his tally this Sunday. He tied-12th in Abu Dhabi during early January and, over the weekend, enjoyed another T-25 finish in Oman."
After more than two decades at Doha Golf Club, the Qatar Masters has switched venues.
Moving a short distance across the Qatari capital, the tournament will now be staged at the Jose Maria Olazabal-designed Education City complex.
Located on the outskirts of Doha, and opened in late 2018, the stunning Education City Golf Club will be making its debut on the European Tour.
The venue has 33 holes, including an 18-hole championship layout which has plenty of sand, water and natural desert scrub.
The bunkers are large and plentiful, while the fairways have been sculptured to perfection.
Sizeable greenside water hazards come into play on more than half of the holes.
Not the most inspiring of fields, but certainly nowhere near the worst in European Tour history.
Owing to the coronavirus outbreak, the Tour has already lost tournaments in Malaysia and China, which were due to be staged in April.
The demise of these co-sanctioned events, which were also removed from the Asian Tour schedule, means there is a large gap on the upcoming calendar.
Not including the American-based tournaments - such as the WGC Match Play Championship and US Masters, which are only really accessible to the game's elite - the next couple of months on the European Tour look threadbare indeed.
After Qatar, there is a low-key event in Kenya, followed by the Indian Open (March 19-22), after which there will be no tournaments for rank-and-file members of the Tour until the Andalucia Masters at Valderrama, which ends on May 3. Worrying times indeed.
As for this week, the four highest-ranked golfers taking part are Eddie Pepperell, Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Robert MacIntyre and Thomas Pieters - all listed somewhere between 63 and 70 in the world standings.
And with no course history available, current form is the main avenue for assessing this week's event.
Check out latest betting ahead of Qatar Masters
World no.77 Paul Waring, a one-time winner on the European Tour, enjoyed a steady, if not spectacular, autumn and will feel quietly confident he can double his tally this Sunday.
He's posted a dozen T-30s, from his most recent 14 starts, which includes a podium finish at the St Andrews links tournament last September, as well as a tie-for-eighth at the WGC-HSBC Champions event in China.
He tied-12th in Abu Dhabi during early January and, over the weekend, enjoyed another T-25 finish in Oman.
This week offers the highly-regarded Matthias Schwab with another excellent opportunity to claim a maiden Tour title.
The 25-year-old Austrian has enjoyed a solid start to 2020 and could easily step up in Qatar to secure a first professional victory.
Dutchman Joost Luiten posted a first top-10 of the year in Oman and, in a field lacking quality, must be considered a real threat this weekend.
The 34-year-old six-time European Tour winner is currently ranked 97 in the world but, as a former top-30 player, certainly has the class and ability to emerge as a real contender at Education City.
Germany's Martin Kaymer, a former world No 1, is slowly returning to better form highlighted by seven T-25s from his last eight starts.
The 35-year-old from Dusseldorf hasn't won a tournament since lifting the US Open trophy in 2014, but it would come as no surprise if this drought were to end on Sunday.
There are a number of South Africans who have played pretty well in recent weeks - some of them on their own Sunshine Tour.
These include George Coetzee, who tied-sixth at Al Mouj over the weekend, and Brandon Stone who lost a play-off in the same event.
Mikko Korhonen, who tied-fourth on Sunday two shots behind champion Sami Valimaki, will be hoping to make it back-to-back wins for Finland.
Quietly going along at no.170 in the world is Ross Fisher. The Englishman has posted three top-10s in the Middle East this calendar year but is without a title since March 2014.
Finally, Malaysia's Gavin Green continues to impress but remains without a European Tour title to his name.
However, thanks to some excellent results in the Persian Gulf during January and February, maybe that is about to change.
Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive
MC* - Missed Additional 54-Hole Cut
Note: List Contains Leading Reserves
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