Branden Grace and compatriot George Coetzee share the halfway lead with Bernd Wiesberger after a day of mixed fortunes at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters
It was another largely wind-free day today in the Qatar Masters, although Dougie Donnelly assured me as I arrived in the press centre at lunchtime that scoring wouldn’t be as good as you might think because of a number of testing pin positions
He was right, although the pick of the morning action had seen Bernd Wiesberger and George Coetzee both reach nine-under to hit the front playing in the same group. With the third member of their group, James Morrison, also going well on six-under, they have undoubtedly been the hottest trio on the Doha course so far, only failing to birdie the 3rd and 6th between them over the first two rounds.
They were joined on that mark late in the day by in-form Branden Grace who tagged a solid 68 onto his opening 69. Wiesberger and Coetzee will have the chance to spur each other on again tomorrow when they set out in the final group together at 12.20 local Qatari time.
Hot on their heels just one back are Abu Dhabi hole-in-one hero, Byeong-hun An, Marc Warren, who came home in five-under today, and Argentine Emiliano Grillo who went bogey-free. Overnight leader Oliver Fisher could only manage a 73, but is still well-positioned on six-under alongside defending champion, Sergio Garcia, who carded a second consecutive 69.
Of the other star names in the field, Ernie Els fared best returning a level-par 72 to remain on five-under, while Justin Rose laboured mid-round for a 73 and a three-under total, the same mark as Henrik Stenson, who failed to capitalise on hitting all 18 greens in regulation in round two.
The cut fell at one-under with 74 players making it through, with the most notable casualty Charl Schwartzel, who unravelled with a quintuple-bogey eight on the par-3 8th en route to a disastrous 78.