CHORLEY'S Nick Dougherty returns to one of his more happier hunting grounds today as he competes for golf's Commercialbank Qater Masters in Doha.

The 25-year-old Shaw Hill professional tied second in the Qatar Masters back in 2002, shooting four sub-70 rounds to finish just six shots short of Australian winner Adam Scott, which at the time proved Dougherty's best result as a professional.

Dougherty, who also finished tied fourth in Doha two years ago, will now be looking to go one better and grab the third European Tour title of his career.

But the former Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School pupil knows he must improve his game a notch or two after finishing 50th in last week's Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.

Defending champion Retief Goosen has been forced to withdraw from the Commercialbank Qatar Masters suffering from an eye injury.

Goosen underwent corrective laser surgery 11 days ago and travelled to Qatar intending to defend his title.

However, during practice on Tuesday, his vision in one eye began to blur. He travelled to Dubai for further treatment on Tuesday afternoon and returned hoping to be able to compete.

But the South African is still having problems with his vision, forcing the two-time Major winner to withdraw from the tournament.

Goosen said: "I am very sad that I am unable to defend my title.

"I came all this way to play but unfortunately the eye is causing a problem. I thought it would come good but it hasn't. I went to Dubai and the advice was to go back to London for treatment.

"I have had laser treatment before, seven years ago, and felt it needed a touch up which I had done 11 days ago.

"But there has been a bit of growth with a fibre in the left eye. It is a very simple procedure to take it out and the advice was to do it sooner."