McIlroy to make 2007 debut in Qatar

Europe's No 1 amateur Rory McIlroy will make his 2007 debut in the star-studded Commercialbank Qatar Masters.

The Holywood hotshot, 17, has been handed a sponsor's invitation for the richest ever edition of the Doha event from January 25-28.

While McIlroy won't get a penny, the event boasts a prize fund of $2.2 million and a winner's cheque for $366,660.

World No 5 Ernie Els, No 6 Retief Goosen and Spanish ace Sergio Garcia have also been confirmed in the starting line up alongside Ryder Cup stars Chris DiMarco of the US, Paul Casey, Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley, Lee Westwood and defending champion Henrik Stenson.

McIlroy is still waiting to hear if he will get a chance to tee it up in the Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Club the following week.

The Co Down lad, a racing certainty to play in the Walker Cup at Royal Co Down next September, plans to turn professional at the end of the season.