News All Articles
Larrazábal the man to catch in Doha

Larrazábal the man to catch in Doha

A fast start helped Pablo Larrazábal open up a two-shot lead on day one of the 2022 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.


Early starter Larrazábal began his first round with three straight birdies before mixing six more gains with a single bogey in an opening 64 which saw him set the clubhouse target at eight under par.

And none of the later starters were able to catch the six-time DP World Tour winner, whose most recent victory came at the MyGolfLife Open hosted by Pecanwood 2022 earlier this month.

Shubhankar Sharma, Marcus Helligkilde, Adrian Meronk and Romain Langasque were Larrazábal's nearest challengers on six under, with Ewen Ferguson and Robert Rock another shot back.

Starting from the tenth tee early on Thursday morning, Larrazábal opened his round with a hat-trick of birdies before making further gains at the 14th, 16th and 18th to turn in 30.

The Spaniard then took advantage of the par-five first, rolling in his ten-foot birdie putt to move to seven under.

Another birdie followed at the fourth before Larrazábal dropped his only shot of the day on the fifth.

He bounced back with a birdie at the seventh before safely parring the final two holes.

Larrazábal said: “I’m very pleased. I played very solid. I missed only a couple of shots. I did an up-and-down there on the last green which I missed, but happy days. 

"It’s been a couple of nice weeks. I missed the cut last week but I played very solid golf and today we keep doing the job. 

“It’s not nice when you have your alarm at 4am, but it’s all about going to bed early. I went to bed at 9, so I got my seven hours. 

"The temperature was nice this morning but now it’s boiling. So I kept drinking a lot of water and making birdies."

India's Sharma also started from the tenth tee and made birdies at the tenth, 11th, 13th, 16th and 18th to jump to five under after nine holes.

The 25-year-old then fired seven successive pars before notching his next birdie at the eighth, and he closed his round with a par to post a bogey-free 66.

He said: "I played really well. It was quite an early tee off, I don’t remember the last time I teed off at 6:55am so I just tried to stay awake on the back nine, which was my front nine, but I made two quick birdies straight out of the gate and then made another three birdies in the next seven holes to be five under after nine.

"The front nine here is tougher, I think, compared to the back nine and it got slightly windier so I made a few good par putts and it was good to make that birdie on the eighth and finish with a 66."

Dane Helligkilde also managed to keep his card clean as he made six birdies in his 66, while later starters Meronk and Langasque each made seven birdies and a single bogey.

Helligkilde said: “It was a good round. I’ve been playing nicely for this four-week stretch and the putts just haven’t dropped. I’ve missed a few fairways and I just couldn’t get the ball in the hole.

"Suddenly today, I holed a chip shot, holed a putt from off the green and some putts dropped and suddenly I’m six under. I’m very happy about it."

Langasque said: "I think everything was really good today. My putting was strong, also my chipping, but all my round was really good so I think I can be really happy about that."

Meronk was pleased with his first round, saying: "I did a good job today in putting the ball in the right places so I’m just going to continue trying to do that. I’ll just take my time, adjust as the week goes on and play my game every day and see what happens."

Read next