Friday, 29 January 2016
Nicolas Colsaerts  (Getty Images)
Nicolas Colsaerts (Getty Images)

Nicolas Colsaerts birdied two of his first three holes to join Paul Lawrie at the top of the leaderboard early in the third round of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

Lawrie, aiming to become the first man to win this title three times, had entered the day with a one-shot lead over Colsaerts but, as he parred the opening three holes at Doha Golf Club, his playing partner picked up strokes on the first and third.

Colsaerts also bogeyed the second but bouncing straight back allowed him to move to 11 under, one shot clear of Andrew Johnston and two ahead of Sergio Garcia and Thorbjørn Olesen.

A win for Colsaerts this week would be his first in four years as he looks to bounce back from a disappointing 2015 where he finished 97th in The Race to Dubai.

The par five first brought a shower of birdies with Garcia, Olesen and Johnston all moving a shot closer to Lawrie before the final group got started.

When they did, it was Colsaerts who took advantage, making a birdie to go four under for that hole on the week, nine under on the par fives and 11 under in total to join the Scot at the top of the leaderboard.

He was not there for long, though, as the big-hitting Belgian bogeyed the second to drop back to ten under before he recovered with another gain.

Those birdies on the first were the only gains of the day so far for Garcia, who had played four holes, and Johnston and Olesen, who had both completed three.

There was then a group of five players at eight under, with Robert Rock two under for the day through eight holes and Lee Slattery at the same mark through six.

Defending champion Branden Grace was one under after his first five while Edberg was level par and Grégory Bourdy had a bogey on the second to drop to eight under.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1GRACE, BrandenRSA18-14
T2CABRERA-BELLO, RafaESP18-12
T2OLESEN, ThorbjørnDEN18-12
T4DREDGE, BradleyWAL18-11
T4JOHNSTON, AndrewENG18-11
T4SLATTERY, LeeENG18-11

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