Harding’s the master in Qatar
11 March 2019
South African Justin Harding won the Qatar Masters as he secured his first European Tour title by two strokes.
The 33 year old was one of 15 golfers who started the day three strokes behind 54-hole leader Oliver Wilson at Doha Golf Club, but he made a fast start to the day with three birdies on his first four holes.
Harding then dropped two strokes after bogeys on the sixth and seventh holes, losing ground on clubhouse leader Jinho Choi, who set the early target of 11 under par after a blistering round of 64. The South African quickly made amends after the turn with birdies on the tenth and 12th holes as he moved back to ten under par. He then birdied three of his last four holes, including consecutive gains on the 17th and 18th, to sign for a 66 and a 13-under-par total.
With 15 competitors still to finish their rounds, Harding faced an anxious wait of almost an hour, but none of them were able to match his total as he finished ahead of a group of nine players who shared second on 11 under.
Harding said: “With so many players still out on the course, I didn’t quite think it was enough, but I’m happy to get over the line. I’ve been knocking on the door a little recently. It’s rewarding seeing the hard graft finally pay off. I got off to a good start, made a couple of birdies, but kind of lost my head around the turn. Thankfully, I managed to keep myself in it and the birdies at 17 and 18 were huge.”
275 J Harding (RSA) 68 68 73 66
277 J Campillo (Esp) 72 69 68 68, N Elvira (Esp) 71 67 69 70, G Coetzee (RSA) 68 68 73 68, E Van Rooyen (RSA) 69 68 70 70, C Bezuidenhout (RSA) 72 71 66 68, O Wilson (Eng) 69 68 69 71, A Karlsson (Swe) 72 66 70 69, M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 68 68 71 70, J Choi (Kor) 72 69 72 64,