Toronto, Canada – By Tony Jimenez
"Every year we see a strong pool of players confirming Doha in their diaries which is great news for the tournament and golf in the region," Qatar Golf Association president Hassan Al Nuami told the European Tour's website (www.europeantour.com) on Monday.
"Last year's lineup was the strongest in the history of the tournament but with Lee Westwood, Kenny Perry, Sergio Garcia and Camilo Villegas already confirmed I am confident the field for the 2010 event will be just as good, if not stronger."
New European number one Westwood will be making his fifth successive appearance in the January 28-31 tournament, hoping to improve on his best finish of equal fifth in 2008.
"I think the course is excellent," said the 36-year-old Briton. "It's set up just the way I think we all like.
"If the wind drops people can do to it what (Australian) Adam Scott did in 2008 with a 61 but with some wind around, it can be a demanding test of golf."
The Qatar Masters is part of the European Tour's Middle East swing that also includes the Abu Dhabi Championship from January 21-24 and the Dubai Desert Classic from February 4-7.
Westwood went close to claiming his first major this year, finishing joint third at the British Open and U.S. PGA Championship, and is determined to make the breakthrough in 2010.
"I came close this year and hope to do well in all four in 2010," said the Englishman. "Hopefully this time I'll win one."
(Editing by John Mehaffey)