Doha, Qatar: Former two-time winner of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters Paul Lawrie is hoping two of his young prodigies, David Law and Sam Locke, can follow in his footsteps and become the leading lights of Scottish golf on the European Tour.
Both Law and Locke signed to Lawrie’s management company Five Star Sports Agency last year and will tee it up alongside Lawrie in the 22nd edition of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, which gets underway at Doha Golf Club on March 7th.
Law is already a European Tour winner having clinched the ISPS Handa Vic Open in Australia earlier this month while Locke plays in Qatar as a tournament invite having won the Silver Medal as the leading amateur at last year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.
“Both Sam and David have been involved with the Paul Lawrie Foundation since they were 9 or 10 years old, so when they improved to an elite amateur level and were ready to turn professional it felt like a natural progression for them to sign with Five Star,” said Lawrie.
“The work we do with the Foundation is not merely to raise golfers to win on Tour – but when one of our kids does win it’s an amazing feeling and we hope that David’s win in Australia will inspire the juniors.
“I’ve been involved in both Sam and David’s careers right from the word go and they really are both great players with huge potential.”
Lawrie himself makes his return from injury having missed a large portion of last season with a foot injury which eventually required surgery. It was during this down-time that the former Open Champion started the management company.
“It’s a different role for me,” he says. “I’ll be the one setting up meetings and arranging deals for the players, and that’s the bit I really enjoy. I’ve been involved with a few different management groups over the years and I’ve learned from them all. We are a very young company, but my plan is to build it as big as it can go.”
Now aged 50, Lawrie plans to share his time across the European Tour, Staysure Tour and the senior Majors on the PGA Tour Champions, but he’s happy to be returning to Doha where he has some happy memories.
“Doha Golf Club is one of my favourite courses to play,” said Lawrie, who won the event in 1999 and again in 2012. “It’s a course that asks you to hit knock-down shots and I’ve always enjoyed that. I’ve been pretty good at keeping the ball low and bumping it in to the greens.
“I know I’ve won twice in Qatar but I’ve also had some other really good weeks, so it’s a tournament I always look forward to and try desperately not to miss.”
The highly anticipated event is organised by The Qatar Golf Association (QGA), the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC), Doha Golf Club and long-term title sponsor, Commercial Bank.
The tournament is considered Qatar’s annual ‘must-attend’ sporting and social event, first held in 1998 and widely known for bringing together the world’s best golf talent; the likes of Branden Grace, Sergio Garcia, Rory Mcllroy, Justin Rose, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Henrik Stenson have all competed in past years.
The Commercial Bank Qatar Masters was attended by over 20,000 spectators in 2018 and broadcast to a global TV audience of over 400 million viewers. For the 22nd edition of the event all eyes will be on Doha as the biggest names in the sport vie for the Mother of Pearl Trophy on one of the most challenging courses on the European Tour.
The Commercial Bank Qatar Masters takes place at Doha Golf Club from March 7-10. Entry for spectators is free of charge.