Australia’s Brett Rumford carded a six under par 66 to move into a one shot second round clubhouse lead at the Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy.
The 32 year old Perth native dropped just one shot in calm conditions at Doha Golf Club to top the leaderboard at nine under par with joint overnight leader Bradley Dredge leading the hunt after a three under 69.
Oliver Wilson, who began the day alongside Dredge at the top of the leaderboard on five under par, was left ‘clueless’ by the greens at Doha Golf Club and picked up just two birdies in a bogey free 70 to join Race to Dubai winner Lee Westwood (69) at seven under.
With conditions easing following the windswept first round which saw just 24 of the 126 man field break par, 2007 Omega European Masters winner Rumford chipped in at his ninth hole of the day to reach the turn in a bogey free five under par after starting on the back nine.
He handed a sixth birdie of the day back with his only blemish on the tricky front nine after failing to make a tough up and down, but played a sublime chip into his final green to tap home to edge ahead.
“I haven’t thought about being in the lead, I just did my own thing and didn’t look at the scoreboards,” said World Number 360 Rumford, who rated his opening round 69 as a seven under par effort given the blustery wind.
“I made some nice up and downs. The front nine was key after getting off to a good start on the first and I kept the momentum running and holed some nice putts.
“I played steady coming home. I just didn’t hole the putts, but I am pleased. My driving has been better this week and if I drive it well I usually play well.”
Dredge finally made his move up the leaderboard with two birdies over his final three holes after dropping just one shot during his first round.
“It was a complete opposite to yesterday,” he said. “Yesterday I thought level par was going to be a good score, but today, with no wind really, I thought the course was there for the taking. I didn’t play well, but I’m pleased with a 69.”
Wilson finally got his round going with a perfectly judged eight foot birdie putt at his 15th hole of the day after 14 consecutive pars before adding his second gain a hole later, although he was left to rue after failing to convert a string of missed chances.
“I was satisfied yesterday, but I am not satisfied today,” he said. “I had so many chances; I just couldn’t find the hole. I was a little confused with the greens and the slope and the pins were tougher today.
“It was getting frustrating, but it was nice to get something out of the round at the end.”
Westwood missed a six foot par putt at his penultimate hole of the day for a second bogey, but bounced back to birdie the last to remain in contention after continuing to reap the benefits of a new set of irons.
“It’s been pretty good over the first few days. I didn’t hit it as good as I did yesterday, but the conditions are a lot easier,” said the World Number Four.
“But I suppose if you don’t hit it great and you shoot a 69, you have to be pleased with the state of your game.”
South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel continued the early season form which saw him land back-to-back titles on home soil at the start of the season as a 69 left the Africa Open and Joburg Open winner at five under alongside Swedish duo Niclas Fasth (68) and Peter Hanson (69).