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Qatar Masters to be co-sanctioned with Asia

The Qatar Masters golf tournament, a European PGA Tour event since its inception in 1998, will be co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour from next year.

Asian Tour chief executive Luis Martin, in Doha on Friday for a meeting with tournament officials, told Reuters: "In view of the 2006 Asian Games, which will be held in Doha, the Qatar Golf Association wanted to attract more Asian players to the Qatar Masters.

"They are keen to attract a sizeable number of the Asian expatriates living in Qatar as well to their tournament. We felt that co-sanctioning is the best way to achieve these goals."

Under the agreement the 2005 edition, held from March 10 to 13, will have 44 players out of 150 from the Asian Tour.

"South Korea, India and Taiwan are rising powers in Asian golf and we will see many players from these countries taking part," Martin added.

It will be the seventh Asian Tour event to be co-sanctioned with the European Tour. The Asian Tour is likely to expand from 22 to 25 next year with Brunei the latest addition, according to Martin.

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