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Qatar to host $1 million golf event in 1998

Doha, Qatar, 1st March - The European PGA Tour and the Qatar Golf Association has announced $1 million (£600,000) tournament to be played next year on 5th - 8th March. The Qatar Masters will follow the Dubai Desert Classic on the Doha Golf Course in the Qatar capital of Doha.

The announcement about the new professional tournament was made by Tami al-Hajri, president of the Qatar Golf Association who said it was a "very proud moment for Qatar and had only been made possible thanks to the wisdom, support and encouragement of H.H. The Emir, Shk. Hamad Bin Khalifa Althani."

Tami al-Hajri said "By a happy chance this tournament comes exactly 50 years after golf was first played in Qatar. In the last 20 years Qataris themselves have taken up the game, first as players and then as organisers with the foundation of the Qatar Golf Association in 1991. The QGA has worked closely since then with the R & A and the governing bodies of world amateur and professional golf.

"Our objectives in staging this tournament are to promote Qatar's international prestige; to bring Qatar to the attention of an international golfing public; and to show the world what wonderful facilities we have here, not only the beautiful golf course but all the other facilities that make Qatar an ideal location either for business or as a leisure resort."