COMING into the tournament, Alex Noren was the man in form. The Swede had won four European Tour titles in five months and was expected to have a crack at the title in Doha.
But the 34-year-old was a major letdown and had to be content with a tied 21st-finish after shooting rounds of 68, 70, 71 and 70. At no stage did he look like mounting a serious title challenge. At 10th, he was the highest-ranked player in the fray and he was understandably disappointed.
“Being the highest-ranked player, I felt a lot more pressure in general. I tried not to think about it too much. But it wasn’t all about the rankings. There were so many good players here,” rued Noren.
Swedes have generally done well in Doha, with Joakim Haeggmann (2004), Henrik Stenson (2006) and Robert Karlsson (2010) winning the title. Though he could not emulate his compatriots, Noren hopes to come back stronger next time.
“I’m just trying to improve my game on a daily basis with my caddie and coach. I’m just being realistic about my game. I first came here as a wild card in 2006. It feels different coming here now.
“I don’t put too much pressure on myself. Maybe that’s why I’ve been successful in the past to strategically work my way around this course. I hope to come back stronger,” he added.