The Race to Dubai is rapidly heating up – and not least at this week’s Qatar Masters.
Having arrived at Doha Golf Club earlier this week, the heat index is through the roof. It’s absolutely roasting, showing temperatures of about 36 or 37 degrees celsius along with humidity.
The DP World Tour have allowed us to wear shorts, which is a brilliant decision. We are given that permission for certain tournaments when it gets hot, such as when we play in the Far East and the likes of Leopard Creek in South Africa.
It has never happened here before, but we have never played here at this time of year and it’s really hot. I take my hat off to them for allowing that.
I’m not overly sure I will do it – I’ll probably stick with the trousers as I think I’m a bit old school that way.
I tee off at 6.50am local time on Thursday, in a group with Alejandro Del Rey and Daniel Gavins, and I am really looking forward to it.
I have played a lot here over the years and the course is probably one of the best conditioned courses we play on all year. It’s absolutely fantastic.
It is also a course that has been kind to the Scots, going back to Paul Lawrie winning it a couple of times, along with Andrew Coltart.
In more recent times Ewen Ferguson claimed victory the last time it was here 12 months ago, and he is back to defend his title this time around.
It’s a great tournament – which I’m sure will get a worthy winner.
Tension in the air at Qatar with tournaments within tournaments and Tour cards on the line
In terms of the event itself, there there is a lot on the line.
It’s a big week for a lot of people, for a lot of different reasons. Whether it’s guys getting a card for America, or guys keeping their card, there is a lot happening.
My fellow Scots Marc Warren and Scott Jamieson are needing to do well to keep their card.
You can feel the tension around the place – it’s definitely a big one.
When it gets to this time of the year, there are so many different agendas going on, for various reasons.
I think that’s what makes it quite an appealing tournament for television as well.
There is a lot of drama, not only at the top end, but the bottom end as well.
In football, you get to a point in the season where you have teams getting relegated or going into the play-offs, along with European spots. It’s much like that – there are tournaments within tournaments this week.
It has all boiled down to this last tournament before the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, with the season coming to a conclusion at the Race to Dubai next month.
Scots looking to make push towards DP World Tour
While there is a huge amount to play for within the DP World Tour, there are a host of players looking to earn the opportunity to be part of it next season.
There are 16 Scots out in Spain just now looking to earn their card, which is brilliant to see – the more the merrier.
Sam Locke, Sandy Scott and Gavin Hay are among those looking to make a push, along with Michael Stewart, Liam Johnston and Rhys Thompson, who was this year’s Tartan Pro Tour Order of Merit winner.
They will be playing at four different venues in Spain from November 2-5 in a bid to reach the final stage of DP World Tour Qualifying School – also in Spain – a few days later, so I will be keeping a close eye on that.
There are a few of my mates playing in it and I will be wishing everybody all the best.
We want as many Scots as possible to get to Tour School. By law of percentages, the more people playing in it gives you a better chance of more of them getting on to the Tour.
I will be looking at that closely and hoping the guys do it.
It’s a big time for them. Even if you get through this stage and get to Tour School, sometimes the Challenge Tour is not so much of a downside if you don’t get your card.
There is a lot riding on them for this – so hopefully the guys can do it.