Team Garcia secured a third straight victory in the traditional Commercial Bank Qatar Masters Challenge Match, which was held at the Doha Golf Club yesterday.
Sergio Garcia, 36, and his team of four Qatari teenage amateurs edged out the sides captained by four-time Major winner Ernie Els and 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen in the fun-filled, five-hole Texas Scramble challenge.
The total of 12 juniors was up from nine last year and six in 2014.
Garcia, an 11-time European Tour winner and seven-time Ryder Cup representative, reunited for a second year with Ahmed al-Muttawah (15). They were joined by six-handicapper Arnav Jain (15), who was playing with his third different pro, having played with Justin Rose last year and Henrik Stenson in 2014.
Female amateur Nada Mir (16), who played with Stenson last year, and the towering Yanis Sherif (16) were also part of the winning team.
“I have now won it three times, but that’s because I get good teams! It was good fun. The guys were great, really nice players, so we had a good time," said the Spaniard.
“I can definitely see the improvement in Ahmed. He’s grown up a little bit, he’s developing his swing and is getting better, but it’s not only him. I’ve seen a couple of the others before. Nada and Arnav both have really good swings.
“It’s really nice to see how everything is developing with Qatari golf and it’s great to see from three years ago how much better the kids have become. It’s awesome,” Garcia added.
Els, who won his fourth Major title at the 2012 Open Championship, enjoyed his time guiding a team featuring Abdulla Abedeen (17), Ali al-Mesaifri (15), Laila al-Abdulla (14) and Fahad Mir (14).
“Some of them were pretty good and some of them had just started, so I tried to pass on some tips,” Els said. “They hit some good shots, so I used their golf balls quite a few times. We had a good time out there.”
Oosthuizen captained two teenagers who played in last year’s event—Abdulrahman al-Dehaimi (14), who played with Stenson, and Abdulrahman al-Thani (13), a member of Rose’s side. Three-handicapper Laila Hrinda (17) and 11-year-old Dylan Maisey (11) were the two tournament newcomers.
As well as captaining his side, Oosthuizen said he was trying to get his own bearings as he competes in Qatar for the first time since 2013.
“It was fun, but it was very windy, so they were a tough few holes to play. I was passing on some advice, but I was trying to find my own game as well! There were some good players. Laila’s got a great game and I think she’ll do really well in future,” the South African said.
Garcia (2014) and Els (2005) are former winners of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, while Oosthuizen, who missed out the 2014 and 2015 editions, was a runner-up in 2009.