Garcia and Kaymer take share of lead

Thu, Jan 24, 2013, 00:00

Golf:Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer, Ryder Cup team-mates who both ended last year lifting a trophy, are part of a four-way tie for the halfway lead at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

But Paul Lawrie, another of Europe’s heroes in Chicago, saw his defence of the title come to a premature end after a four-putt double bogey on the 15th hole. He missed the cut by a single stroke.

Playing partner Garcia shot 66 and Kaymer returned a 67 to be alongside Australian Marcus Fraser and Portugal’s Ricardo Santos on nine under par.

Garcia underwent laser eye surgery to correct astigmatism following the victory over the Americans in September, but finished 2012 with a round of 61 for a three-shot win at the Johor Open in Malaysia.

That came two weeks after Kaymer, the man who sank the putt to retain the Ryder Cup and leapt into the Spaniard’s arms, took the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa by two.

While the German played in Abu Dhabi last week and came joint sixth, this is Garcia’s first appearance of the season.

“It was nice, I definitely felt I played a little bit better than yesterday,” said the 32-year-old after his six birdies.

“Obviously I would have loved to hit a couple of shots better, but I gave myself a lot of chances and I can’t be disappointed.

“The wind started picking up a bit and it made it tough enough to choose the right clubs. We tried to play smart and managed to do that fairly nicely.”

First-round leader Santos followed up his 65 with a 70, making a fine up and down from the bunker at the par-five last, while Fraser did the same on the long ninth to complete his 67.

World number four Justin Rose made his first cut in five visits to Doha but with a 71 for five under last week’s runner-up has four strokes to make up and lies joint 20th.

Rose, penalised a shot on the opening day when his ball moved as he prepared to tap in on the 17th, had only himself to blame for a bogey six at the 591-yard first.

That was his 10th hole of the round and he sent his second shot way right into the desert scrub and needed three more just to make the green.

“That made me a bit flat, to be honest with you,” Rose said.

He dropped another after driving into sand on the 10th, but made a 15-footer for birdie at the short eighth.

Michael Hoey is the best placed of the Irish in the field after a 69 left the Belfast man four shots off the lead on five under.

Damien McGrane failed to match his first-round effort after a level-par 72 kept him on four under for the tournament.

Peter Lawrie and Gareth Maybin both carded rounds of 71 to make the cut by one shot, but new Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley bowed out after a 75 left him on four over. His two immediate predecessors Jose Maria Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie also missed the cut.

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