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Qatar Masters
Doha Golf Club
Qatar
5th - 8th March 1998

Par 72 Prize Money 600,000

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Double triumph for Coltart with win in Qatar Masters

By Norman Dabell - Reuters

Doha, Qatar, 8th March 1998 - Scotland's Andrew Coltart came from two strokes behind to clinch the Qatar Masters on Sunday, his first European Tour victory, only hours after being confirmed as the Australasian order of merit winner.

Coltart overhauled leader Andrew Sherborne at the fifth hole of the final round and held on for a two-stroke win over the Englishman and Sweden's Patrik Sjoland.

A closing five-under-par 67 took Coltart, without a victory in five years on the European Tour, to an 18-under-par 270.

Only hours earlier, Coltart, 27, had been confirmed as Australasian Tour winner following the season-ending Tour Championship in Canberra.

Sjoland carded a 69 and Sherborne 71 to both finish on 272 for joint second place in Doha.

Briton Van Phillips was a further stroke back, one shot better than Dutchman Rolf Muntz, another Briton, David Carter and South Africa's Retief Goosen whose closing pair of 66s hauled him up the field over the weekend.

Coltart took over the lead with an opening burst of three birdies in four holes from the second and held it to the end. Sherborne, who had begun the day two shots ahead, was unable to make birdies and had pars all the way to the 16th hole.

Sjoland, also two behind at the start, became the chief threat as the Swede collected three birdies in five holes after the turn but could find no more and failed to capitalise on the birdieable closing holes.

Coltart's opening burst proved decisive and the Scot rammed home his advantage by picking up shots on the 10th and 16th, with playing-partner Sherborne collecting his only birdie at 16.

Victory for Coltart came after three second places on the European Tour, including losing a playoff to former U.S. Masters champion Ian Woosnam in the 1996 Johnnie Walker Classic.

"This has been a long time coming," said Coltart. "You start wondering if you are ever going to do it."

But Coltart has tasted victory outside the European Tour, winning the Australian PGA title in 1994 and last year and finding success with the Scottish Dunhill Cup team in 1995 at St Andrews.

"It's horrible when you keep giving yourself chances to win and you feel sick every time you get close and don't quite pull it off.

"So to do it has quite exhausted me. I went out hoping I wouldn't make any mistakes because I knew I was playing well. Obviously the good start was the key, but I didn't stop worrying until I'd finished the last hole."

Coltart learned of his Australasian money-list success from his caddy before he went out to play the final round.

Sherborne, who had taken the lead in the second round, said: "I played like a pig. I did nothing."

Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal's 17th place finish on nine-under-par after a closing 70, earned him 7,696 ($12,500) and left him over 100,000 ($163,000) behind European money list leader, South African Ernie Els.

Coltart moved into third in the rankings, only 28,000 ($45,800) behind Olazabal.


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