Hanson hits the front

2/4/2012 10:56:09 AM
Peter Hanson  (Getty Images)
Peter Hanson (Getty Images)
Swede Peter Hanson gave himself the chance to make instant amends for last week's collapse when he marched into the lead at the wind-delayed Commercialbank Qatar Masters presented by Dolphin Energy.

With the event cut to 54 holes after less than three hours' play was possible in Doha on Friday, the Ryder Cup player birdied four of his first seven holes in the second round.

It took Hanson to seven under par, two ahead of South African James Kingston after first day pacesetters Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño and John Daly had both fallen back.

In Abu Dhabi last Sunday the 34 year old had gone out in the final group with Tiger Woods and Robert Rock, but crashed to a closing 78 and fell all the way to 35th place.

The door had been opened to him when Fernandez-Castaño followed up his opening 66 with only a 75 to be back in a group on three under that also included World Number Three Lee Westwood after he completed a 70.

Daly, the 45 year old former Open Champion now ranked a lowly 543rd in the Official World Golf Ranking and without a win for eight years, resumed on five under, but after a birdie at the second he bogeyed the fourth, sixth and eighth to turn in 38.

Early leaders in the clubhouse on four under were England's David Lynn and Australia's World Number Ten Jason Day. Lynn shot 69 and Day, despite some wild drives, a level par 72.

Westwood threatened to make a huge move through the field when he birdied the 16th and 18th and then sank an 18 foot eagle putt on the long first.

But the Englishman had to be content with covering the remaining holes in even par. A bad drive led to a bogey on the sixth, but he was on the green in two at the par five ninth and two-putted.

"I was a bit sloppy the first day and the first five holes yesterday, but today was a bit more like it," said Westwood, who needed no telling that he had found himself without the luck of the draw.

"Hopefully I'll not be too far behind and the wind gets up and equalises things a bit," he said. "While we were out there yesterday the course was fairly unpleasant - windy, cold, sandy and it was tough to get any putts to the hole."

The greens had not been cut to reduce the danger of balls being blown away.

Day commented: "I was just a little flat today and I'm very happy I stuck in there. My short game was solid and kept me in the game."

Defending champion Thomas Björn made a remarkable recovery to survive the cut on level par. The Dane had started with a 79, but improved an incredible 14 strokes on that.

As for Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal, his title hopes remained firmly alive as he went to the turn in a three under 33 to join Lynn and Day.

Also four under were Scot Paul Lawrie and Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, while German Marcel Siem joined Kingston in second place when he had four successive birdies around the turn - and they were only one back when Hanson's first bogey of the day came on the difficult short eighth.

Hanson bogeyed again on the long ninth, but a birdie three holes later took him back in front.

He soon had company on six under, however, as Lawrie, Colsaerts and Argentina's Ricardo Gonzalez - out in 32 and five under for the day after another birdie on the tenth - all made moves forward.

Kingston and Siem were one behind, Daly two back with three to play and Olazábal part of the pack three adrift after a bogey on the 12th.

Former BMW PGA Championship winner Simon Khan also joined the group on five under – and in some style – when he chipped in for eagle at the last .

Colsaerts, who bogeyed the last hole of the Volvo Golf Champions in South Africa two weeks ago when sharing the lead, had top spot on his own when he two-putted the driveable 16th for birdie, but he was back to six under after bogeying the short next.

That put him alongside Lawrie and Gonzalez again, but Hanson played a poor chip on the 13th and bogeyed to be one behind.