Qatar Open Amateur Championship
Qatar Open Amateur Championship becoming a World Amateur Golf Ranking counting event In recognition of the Qatar Open Amateur Championship becoming a World Amateur Golf Ranking counting event, The R&A has made its first official visit to the Middle-Eastern state. R&A Director Michael Tate was present during the 24th staging of the event, which was held at Doha Golf Club in January.
The Championship has come a long way since its inception in 1983, when it was contested over a sand course in Umm Said, to become an international tournament which, this year, welcomed 120 amateurs from 25 countries to the nation’s state-of-the-art 27-hole golf facility.
Such is the quality of field that the Qatar Open Amateur Championship now attracts, that the winner is offered an exemption into the Qatar Masters – a flagship European Tour event that lists three Major Champions as past winners.
This year, England’s Max Williams will take his place amongst the world’s best for the second year in succession after he successfully defended his title at Doha. Despite finding himself seven shots off the pace after round one of the 54-hole championship, the 19-year-old rallied with rounds of 71 and 68 to close the gap and force a play-off with compatriot Alex Christie, which he won at the third extra hole.
“The Qatar Open Amateur Championship has become one of the region’s leading tournaments,” said Michael Tate. “Its new status as a World Amateur Golf Ranking counting event is another stage in its progression, and I have no doubt that it will continue to grow in profile and attract ever-stronger fields as the years go on.
“It was a pleasure to be in attendance for the week and to take the opportunity to sit down with officials from the Qatar Golf Association (QGA) and discuss their plans to further develop the game there.”
Over the past few years, The R&A have developed a healthy, reciprocal relationship with QGA. Recently, Qatari officials participated in a Referees School in St Andrews as well as being in attendance at the 2009 Working for Golf Conference, while in 2008 a talented youngster from Doha competed in the Junior Open Championships at Hesketh – Scotland.