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Four Share Lead at Qatar Masters
There's a United Nations look to the leaderboard at the Qatar Masters, a European Tour event that began Wednesday at Doha Golf Club.
The four pacesetters at 9-under 139 include Australia's Marcus Fraser, with rounds of 68 and 67, Germany's Martin Kaymer (68, 67), Spain's Sergio Garcia (69, 66) and Portugal's Ricardo Santos (65, 70).
The players dealt with high winds in the second round, but the top-four handled the conditions well. "It was not the strong wind we are used to seeing here," said Garcia, a member of the victorious 2012 European Ryder Cup team. "But we had to choose the right clubs and it made some of the drives a little tougher.
"I managed to play smart and do that fairly nicely," added Garcia. "And when I feel good I love to hit all sorts of shots, draws fades, highs and lows and I am hoping I will be able to do it again in the final two rounds."
Kaymer said he's made some early season adjustments after finishing tied for sixth in last week's Abu Dhabi Championship, five strokes behind winner Jamie Donaldson of Wales. (Donaldson isn't playing this week.)
"The first week of the season you don't know if all the practice you have been doing will pay off straightaway," said Kaymer, the 2010 PGA champion and also a member of the Euros' 2012 Ryder Cup team. "But I learned a lot last week about my irons and driving the ball and I have used it here this week very well already. I think it will be a good couple of days."
One stroke out of the lead are South Africa's George Coetzee (67 Thursday), Chile's Felipe Aguilar (67), New Zealand's Michael Campbell (68), Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen (68) and England's Gary Lockerbie (69).
The cut line was set at 1-under 143. Qualifying for another two rounds is Justin Rose at 139. The 32-year-old Brit finished a stroke behind Donaldson in Abu Dhabi. Continuing his swing through the Middle East, American Jason Dufner will also play this weekend after rounds of 71 and 70.
Among those heading home is Scott Jamieson. The 29-year-old Scot, the winner of the European Tour's season-opening Nelson Mandela Championship in South Africa, carded rounds of 74 and 77 in Qatar.
For complete scoring, visit http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2013/tournamentid=2013007/leaderboard/index.html?showLeaderboard=Y.