Qatar Masters - Winner

A return to Doha is always welcome for the semi pro punters where we have a long list of formlines and ties to other events. Forever a fine exponent on links layouts Pepperell won this in 2018 joining the likes of Paul Lawrie (twice), Els, Stenson, Bjorn, Garcia, Wood and Grace in winning this event having shown plenty of form on links layouts previously.

That will be my guide for this week as ever. The course has always suited the longer hitters but it is worth noting that scrambling has usually played a part in determining the winners and contenders. 

Sami Valimaki at 125/1 (Six Places)

I first watched Sami Valimaki when he stayed on for 7th in the Vic Open back in 2020 and he struck me as someone who enjoyed challenging conditions. He since backed that thinking up with a win in Oman when conditions were far from easy over the weekend there. He has since suffered a lean spell since and the results have been poor for the most part.

His win in Oman came in the start after his 7th place spot in the Vic Open and the signs last week in South Africa were positive enough to suggest a similar scenario may be on the horizon this week in Doha. His long game was much improved in Steyn City from previous efforts this year and he putted extremely well for the first time this year. The breezy conditions over the weekend should suit and triple figures look enough to nibble at.

1pt each-way S.Valimaki 125/1 (1/5 6)

Sami Valimaki - 1pt e/w @ 125/1

Matti Schmid at 50/1 (Seven Places)

If Matti Schmid does prove to be one of the classier sorts on this tour overtime then this week may be one of the better opportunities to make his mark. Third, last week was a fine effort in South Africa and having been in the heat of contention once again he may just kick on from that experience. That top three finish adds to his runner up finish in the Dutch Open and already this German is making waves on tour.

9th at the Dunhill Links ticks that box as well winning the Silver Medal at Royal St Georges last year. Plenty may not like the price this week but this kid could be head and shoulders above plenty ahead of him in the market and his pedigree thus far in his career suggests this may be a suitable test. 

1pt each-way M.Schmid 50/1 (1/5 7)

Matti Schmid - 1pt e/w @ 50/1

Sebastian Soderberg at 90/1 (Seven Places)

Sebastian Soderberg is another who enjoys testing conditions and after plenty of positives last week in South Africa is worth including around the 90/1 mark this week. The Swede has always been neat around the greens and that will be important this week, especially over the weekend if the wind blows.

10th place last week was an encouraging effort and we know the capabilities of Sodeberg having won in Crans in a much stronger field beating none other than Rory McIlroy amongst others in a playoff there. With that ceiling he is more than capable of winning again under the right conditions and I believe Doha is a perfect fit having finished 20th on his only outing here in 2019.

1pt each-way S.Soderberg 90/1 (1/5 7)

Sebastian Soderberg - 1pt e/w @ 90/1

Lucas Bjerregaard at 200/1 (Seven Places)

Lucas Bjerregaard's form has fallen off a cliff once again following his runner up finish in Portugal late last year. However, last week in South Africa there was one small uptick which was his form off the tee. He ranked 14th in the field for SG OTT last week having only played two rounds. His poor approach play and putting contributed heavily to the missed cut.

His approach play has been reasonably solid all season so I'm happy to gloss over that in the hope it reverts to type. He won the Dunhill Links in 2018 and finished 11th here in 2017 in Doha so has enough credentials to do well here one again and I'm prepared to take the chance at 250/1 following the improvement off the tee last week.

0.75pt each-way L.Bjerregaard 200/1 (1/5 7)

Lucas Bjerregaard - 0.75pts e/w @ 200/1