Posted on January 13, 2017

Wang Jeunghun and Li Haotong will make their tournament debuts at the 20th Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in late January after finishing first and second in the 2016 European Tour Rookie of the Year standings.

The two 21-year-olds – who were the two youngest male golfers in the 2016 Olympic Men's Golf Competition in Rio de Janeiro– have frequently crossed paths around the world while growing into two of Asia’s most exciting talents. Both are graduates of the PGA TOUR China Series, with Wang winning the circuit’s inaugural event in 2014 and Li winning the Order of Merit that year. It was a year to remember in 2016 with both claiming their first European Tour titles and in August qualifying to represent their respective countries at the Olympic Games.

The pair continued to battle it out for the European Tour Rookie of the Year title, with Li leading the way after finishing joint runner-up at November’s Turkish Airlines Open before Wang regained the lead the following week by finishing second behind Sweden’s Alex Noren at the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player in South Africa. Wang made his European Tour breakthrough in May by bagging back-to-back wins at the Trophée Hassan II in Morocco and AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, just two months after sharing second place at the Hero Indian Open in March.

Wang eventually finished 16th in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex and is now looking forward to his first appearance at the long-standing Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, which will be held from January26-29, 2017. “I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and am really excited about playing in the tournament. I know it has many very famous champions,” said Wang, who finished his 2016 European Tour season with a tie for 17th at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

“I’ve never played any of the events on the Desert Swing in the Middle East early in the year, but I played quite well in Dubai at the end of the season so that will give me some confidence when I play in Qatar. It’s great to be playing in the 20th year of the tournament.” Li, who’s just over a month older than Wang, will also be among the tournament debutants after winning his first European Tour title at Volvo China Open in Beijing in April.

Li made European Tour headlines in April 2015 when he lost a playoff at the Shenzhen International before leading the Volvo China Open. In November that year he made global headlines when he tied for seventh at the US$9.5 million WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, playing his final round with Jordan Spieth. After an up-and-down start to the 2016 European Tour and only gaining his full card after the Volvo China Open, he finished the season strongly, only missing one cut in his final nine events. At the end of November, Li and good friend Wu Ashun finished runner-up in the World Cup of Golf in Melbourne for China’s best-ever result in the event.

European Tour’s top rookies [qatarisbooming.com].jpg

“I had a good year and will be fit and ready to play in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in January. I know a bit about the tournament because Wu Ashun played there in 2016 and he will play again in Qatar so that will help a lot,” said Li, who was also Wu’s teammate at the Olympics. “I want to play well early in the season and I know Doha Golf Club is quite a long course, so I hope it suits my game.”

Hassan Al Naimi, President of the Qatar Golf Association, said: “It’s always nice to welcome back famous, familiar faces for the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, but we are also excited to welcome the next generation of stars competing here for the first time. “Wang Jeunghun and Li Haotong both burst onto the European Tour in 2016 with spectacular victories and performances. We are incredibly proud to have the two youngest players in the Olympic men’s competition join us in January and hope they will compete here for many years to come.”

First held in 1998, the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters has helped establish Qatar as a world-class sporting host and is considered the country’s annual ‘must-attend’ sporting and social event. Sitting at the heart of The European Tour’s Middle East swing, the tournament attracted over 25,000 spectators in 2016 and was broadcast to a global TV audience of over 400 million. Tickets for the 20th Commercial Bank Qatar Masters are now available for purchase at Virgin Megastores (online and in-store in Doha), Doha Golf Club, St Regis Hotel Doha, Intercontinental Hotel Doha, Radisson Blu Hotel Doha, FnacLagoona Mall and online on the following websites: q-tickets.com, 800tickets.com and iloveqatar.net. Tickets are priced as follows, starting at QAR150:

Tournament day

Ticket type

Ticket price

Thursday 26 January

General admission ticket

QAR 150

Friday 27 January

General admission ticket

QAR 200

Saturday 28 January

General admission ticket

QAR 200

Sunday 29 January

General admission ticket

QAR 200

Season Pass Thursday to Sunday

Includes general admission on all four days

QAR 450

Entry is free for children under 14 years of age. For those looking for an extra-special experience with the best views of the course and an exclusive culinary experience hospitality packages are now available to purchase through the tournament’s official website qatar-masters.com/hospitality.  

Official Website:qatar-masters.com

Hospitality: qatar-masters.com/hospitality

Facebook:facebook.com/CommercialBankQatarMasters

Twitter:@CBQatarMasters

Instagram:@CBQatarMasters

Official hashtag: #MyCBQatarMasters

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