Martin Kaymer, our Player in Focus for the Qatar Masters on the European Tour, is the joint leader of the tournament ahead of the third round on Friday. The event runs from Wednesday to Saturday to take advantage of the weekend that covers Friday and Saturday in this part of the world.
Kaymer will always be remembered as the player that holed the crucial putt which meant Europe retained the Ryder Cup last year. He won the US PGA Championship in 2010 but wasn’t able to maintain his status at number one in the world rankings.
The German player showed his enduring class by winning the HSBC Champions event at the end of 2011. His form then dipped and there were concerns that he was not playing well enough to justify his automatic place in the European Ryder Cup team.
Ultimately Kaymer let nobody down at Medinah Country Club last September. He will never face a more intense situation that having to hole a five foot putt to retain the Ryder Cup for Europe.
Sergio Garcia (pictured) is another Ryder Cup player who has put together two excellent rounds in Qatar. At 9 under par Garcia is level with Kaymer at the top of the leaderboard on which Marcus Fraser and Ricardo Santos also figure at nine under par.
Garcia seemed to lose his appetite for the game over the last few years. However, he got his career back on track in 2012, winning a US PGA Tour event and beating Jim Furyk in their crucial singles match at the Ryder Cup.
The Spanish player ha never won a major championship, despite almost winning the PGA Championship in 1999 as a teenager. His best chance came in the British Open at Carnoustie in 2007. He led the tournament throughout most of the week but ultimately lost in a play-off to Padraig Harrington.
Justin Rose and Louis Oosthuizen are the two players from the top 10 in the world rankings playing this week. They are four and five shots off the pace respectively and by no means out of contention. At 3 under par Jason Dufner could still feature over the weekend.