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Pablo Larrazábal sets sights on Qatar victory after fightback

Pablo Larrazábal sets sights on Qatar victory after fightback

Pablo Larrazábal was proud of his back nine fightback as he turned fears over missing the halfway cut to genuine belief in his chances of victory at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

After a one-under-par 71 on Thursday, the Spaniard was facing an early flight out of Doha when he made three bogeys on the front nine in the second round.

Larrazábal is however a nine-time winner on the DP World Tour having claimed two titles last season and he demonstrated his champion mentality with five birdies on the way in, including three in a row from the 14th.

That meant he headed into the weekend six shots off the lead held by Australia’s Haydn Barron and a second title in the Middle East – a decade on from his victory at the Abu Dhabi Championship – was firmly on his mind.

Pablo Larrazabal-1994171716

“I am not here to make the cut," he said after his second round 70 at Doha Golf Club. "I am here to try to win golf tournaments and from being outside the cutline to be six back (victory) is what I am thinking about.

“I think I have a low one on this golf course. I did a low one before and I think tomorrow my mentality has to be to close the gap.

“As I said, I am not here just to make cuts. Obviously making the weekend is great and to have the chance to climb the leaderboard but we are here to try and push to win trophies."

Larrazábal has made an encouraging start to the 2024 Race to Dubai, registering top-20 finishes in his first two starts in Dubai last month.

The 40-year-old also boasts a good record in Qatar with three top 10s in his last six starts, strengthening his resolve he can emulate countrymen Jorge Campillo, Sergio Garcia and Alvaro Quiros by lifting the Mother of Pearl trophy.

“This one is very special for Spain," he added. "Many Spaniards are on that trophy and this is one that I would love to win one day.”

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