Former champion Andrew Coltart opened up a one stroke lead at the midway point of the second round of the Commercialbank Qatar Masters Presented by Dolphin Energy.
The 38 year old Scot added a second round 69 to his opening 66 to finish nine under par at Doha Golf Club.
Portugal Masters champion Alvaro Quiros leapt up the leaderboard and into second place at eight under with a five under 67 which included seven birdies.
Overnight joint leader Miguel Angel Jiménez was unable to build on his bogey free first round but was satisfied with a 71 which left him third and a shot clear of Maarten Lafeber (70), Damien McGrane (69), Paul Broadhurst (70) and Sportsbet Australian Masters champion Rod Pampling (68).
"I'm pleased. There is always a question whether you can follow up a low round and I think I managed it," Coltart said.
"I think if you go around that course and shoot under par you have done really well and off the back of the 66 I was really proud of it.
"There were some scrappy moments, it is the type of game you cannot play the same one day to the next, but I got the job done with a couple of nice chips, a couple of nice pitches and a couple of nice putts.
"I'm happy with three under and I'm looking forward to the weekend. It was by no means the perfect round of golf, but I am delighted to shoot under par."
The third over night leader – Sweden’s Henrik Stenson – was still six under through six holes, and had been joined by South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen who was one under for his round after four holes.
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