In his 2013 debut, Sergio Garcia shot a -6 under par 66 on Thursday to get a share of the lead at the Qatar Commercial Bank Masters in Doha, Qatar. Garcia was bogey free in his second round at the Doha Golf Course, in a rare Wednesday thru Saturday tournament on the European Tour. He joins Marcus Fraser, and Martin Kaymer who both carded -5 under 67′s, and first round leader Ricardo Santos at -9 under par totals.
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.
Marcus Fraser, who teed off on the back nine, made par on every hole. When the 35 year old Aussie made the turn, he put on a birdie clinic, finishing with five birdies, and a 31 score for his front nine. Fraser is 58th in World Rankings, and 64th in Race to Dubai points. A win, or good finish in Qatar would certainly pad his stats, and open up opportunities for the remainder of the year. He has two wins on the European Tour in his career.
Santos, who shot a brilliant -7 under par on Wednesday to take the tournament lead, wasn’t quite as good on Thursday, but managed a -2 under par 70 for his efforts, and stays on the leader board.
There is another log jam with five golfers one stroke back at -8 under par and tied for fifth place. South African George Coetzee, and Chile’s Felipe Aguilar both fired 67′s on Thursday, and share fifth place with Michael Campbell, Thorbjorn Olesen, and Gary Lockerbie from England. Olesen was runner up last week in Abu Dhabi, and has been around the leaderboard since the start of the new season.
Justin Rose, who incurred a one stroke penalty for ball movement on the 17th green Wednesday, could only muster a couple of birdies on Thursday, and escaped with a -1 under 71 and is four strokes back in a tie for 20th place.
Jason Dufner, one of two Americans in the field, continues to struggle in the Far East, and shot a 70 on Thursday, but is six strokes off the pace at -3 under par, and tied for 42nd place. The other American, Todd Hamilton, is another stroke back at -2 under par.
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