After years of frustration on the golf course in Doha, World No. 11 Sergio Garcia finally clinched the 17th Qatar Commercial Bank Masters title in front of a large crowd on Saturday. The Spaniard beat Mike Ilonen on the third playoff, with a score of seven-under-par 65, and was awarded $2.5 million in prize money.
During last year’s tournament, 34-year-old Garcia finished as a joint runner-up, placing in the top-10 for the sixth time in seven years. In a statement yesterday, he said:
“I’m thrilled to finally be able to win here. We’ve been close several times, so it feels great to finally get through the finish line and go home with the trophy.
It’s a place I’ve been coming for a while now and that I’ve always enjoyed playing. I’ve been coming here for eight straight years, so the crowd are used to seeing me, which is nice.”
Despite his narrow defeat, Ilonen of Finland remained upbeat this weekend. In a statement, he said:
“I played good golf this week, so I can’t be too disappointed. I gave it my best shot, but Sergio was a bit better this time. There’s no shame in losing to a great player like him.”
Garcia is the second Spaniard to win the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, after Alvaro Quiros, who took the title in 2009.
The week’s tournament attracted many golf fans, who shared their views on Twitter:
Amazing weekend at the Qatar Masters Golf, topped off perfectly by such a close finish. Congrats Sergio Garcia xx
— Sally Bruce (@SallieBruce) January 25, 2014
— Andrew Binner (@AndrewBinner) January 22, 2014
The tournament also included evening entertainment and a family zone area. Did you watch the action? Thoughts?