Friday, 19 March 2010
Commercialbank Qatar Masters - Round Two  (Getty Images)
Commercialbank Qatar Masters - Round Two (Getty Images)

In-form Louis Oosthuizen may lack experience of leading on The European Tour but the South African has certainly picked a tournament to try it out after storming to the top of the leaderboard in the Commercialbank Qatar Masters.

The 26 year old is a five-time winner on his native Sunshine Tour but even though he narrowly missed out on his maiden European Tour crown in Abu Dhabi last week after Paul Casey  held on to claim a one-stroke victory, he was always lurking just off the pace before falling narrowly short following a final-round charge.

But after two rounds at Doha Golf Club, twice South African PGA Championship winner Oosthuizen held a three-shot lead over the strongest ever field assembled for a regular European Tour event following a bogey-free, seven-under-par 67.

"I don't really have much experience of leading on The European Tour. I have been in South Africa and it's gone well," said Oosthuizen.

"We have 36 holes left. I'm confident with the way I'm playing and I feel like I have a good chance. We'll just see how it goes over the next two rounds.

"I'm not going to do anything differently than I've been doing. It feels nice having a three-shot lead after the second round, I played well and I'm happy."

With 1998 Qatar champion Coltart in the clubhouse on nine under par following a solid second-round 69, Oosthuizen battled early afternoon rain before blazing around the turn with four birdies in five holes to move on to 12 under.

Portugal Masters champion Alvaro Quiros fired three late birdies as the big-hitting Spaniard carded a 67 to earn a share of third place at eight under alongside Australia's Brett Rumford, who shot a 69.

"I would have definitely taken a three-shot lead after the second round. I am playing well and I am very happy," said Oosthuizen, who started the year with a  tenth place finish at the Joburg Open.

"If you look at the players who are here it's an amazing field. If you just have a look at the world-ranking points that are here this week it's an amazing week.

"It's always a nice confidence boost to play well the week before and that second spot was very close to a play-off. It was nice bringing that form to Qatar and I am very happy."

Miguel Angel Jimenez sits five adrift in fourth with fellow overnight leader and 2006 champion Henrik Stenson in a group at six under.

Sergio Garcia, Robert Karlsson and Lee Westwood are all at four under, with defending champion Adam Scott well down the field a further three shots back.

American Ryder Cup winner Boo Weekley, compatriot Brandt Snedeker, Abu Dhabi winner Casey and Justin Rose all missed the cut.


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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1QUIROS, AlvaroESP18-19
T2STENSON, HenrikSWE18-16
4MCGRANE, DamienIRL18-13
T5LAFEBER, MaartenNED18-12
T5JIMÉNEZ, Miguel AngelESP18-12
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