Branden Grace held his nerve in a closing 69 to become the first man to successfully defend the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters title at Doha Golf Club. Grace held off the chasing pack to get to 14 under and win a seventh European Tour title by two shots from Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Thorbjørn Olesen.
An opening round 67 for Thorbjørn Olesen left him in a tie for sixth at the Qatar Masters. Following up from this, his second round of another sub 70 (69), and he was still in a tie for sixth. Going into moving day, Thor was only 3 shots behind leader Paul Lawrie, who in the end would finish in a tie for thirteenth position.
A second successive 69 for Olesen left him only two behind Lawrie heading in to the final round. Playing in the final group of the tournament, Thor closed with a final round 71 to finish 2 back of eventual winner, Branden Grace.
Finishing alongside Cabrera-Bello at 12 under thanks to a 15-ft birdie putt on the last. the Dane while pleased with his performance, was left to rue missed chances. Olesen had held a share of the lead after Grace and Lawrie both dropped shots on the fifth but a bogey on the eighth and a run of nine straight pars ended his chances.
“You would take it at the start of the week tied second is pretty good,” he said. “Obviously I had a lot of chances today but nothing really went in”.
“I missed that short putt on ten which hurt a lot. I never really got the pace on the greens, I had a few good lines but then they were short. When I got it to the hole, it was not a good line. So it was just a little off there around the greens”.
“I’ve tried to change my mental side a little bit and I’ve really enjoyed this week from the start. Even though I hit a few bad shots, I was still very good mentally. That’s a good sign and that’s what I have to keep working on”.