"You don't get many golfing names greater than Ernie Els," said an excited Andrew Stevens, CEO of title sponsors Commercialbank of Qatar.

 

"With Ernie confirmed alongside players like Sergio Garcia, Retief Goosen, Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood, the field is shaping up to be the strongest yet and is a great way to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the tournament."

 

The player known as the "Big Easy" recently won his fourth South African Open with a record winning total of 24-under as he looks to be back to his best ahead of the 2007 campaign.

 

"Ernie admitted afterwards that his performance in South Africa was as good as he can play," said Qatar Golf association President Hassan Al Nuami.

 

"To have him back at the peak of his game is not only good for golf, it's also wonderful news for our tournament."

 

Record prize money 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Chris diMarco
Sanctioned by both the PGA European Tour and the Asian Tour, the Qatar Masters, played over the 7,374-yard Doha course, is aiming to be the premier golf event in the region.

 

"We've been saying since day one that the 2007 tournament will take golf in Qatar to new and improved levels," CEO Stevens said.

 

"We've announced record prize-money of $2.2 million and a host of world-class players. But in association with the Qatar Golf Association, we will keep working to secure what we feel will be the best in-depth field of players competing in the region in 2007."

 

Chris Myers, the tournament manager, also firmly believes the field for the Masters is the strongest yet.

 

"We're now seeing the leading lights of the PGA TOUR, the European Tour and the Asian Tour heading for Doha," he said.

 

"This is a massive vote of confidence not only for the event but also for Qatar in general."

 

The Qatar Masters will be played in Doha from January 25 to 28, 2007.