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Champion Lawrie to return to Doha

Last updated: 18th December 2012

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Paul Lawrie: Looking for a hat-trick

Paul Lawrie: Looking for a hat-trick

Paul Lawrie will return to Doha next month after confirming he will defend his Qatar Masters title.

Having started his 2013 season in Durban two weeks ago, Lawrie will take part in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship from January 17 before heading to the Doha Golf Club the following week to try to secure a third title there.

The Ryder Cup star first won the event in 1999 and then became the second two-time champion after Australian Adam Scott when he claimed the title in February this year.

"It's a tournament I enjoy, where I've not only won twice but had a lot of good finishes," Lawrie said.

"It'll be my third event of 2013 so I should be game sharp, more than I would be if it was my first event.

"I know the course well, as we've played there many times. I look forward to going back, but there are very few people who go to tournaments and successfully defend. Obviously you go there with good feelings, but sometimes that holds you back a wee bit, makes it harder to win again."

The S$2.5 million event will for the first time be played from Wednesday to Saturday, January 23-26.

This year's tournament was reduced to 54 holes due to strong winds, but the 1999 Open Champion relishes conditions in the Middle Eastern country.

"I just like playing in Doha. It's 'linksy', it's windy, you've got to knock the ball down, you've got to think a wee bit more. It's not just stand up and give it a 'batter'," said Lawrie.

"I enjoy it that way. You've got to play the ball, shape the ball a wee bit, which is unusual these days. You don't have to do that very often, but Qatar's got that. It's always breezy, but even though it's windy, scoring's always good because there are chances and the greens are firm, which we like. But you've got to keep the ball down."



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