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Wood Goes Up by Three in Qatar


England's Chris Wood fired an 8-under 64 to take the 54-hole lead in the Qatar Masters, a European Tour event that began Wednesday at Doha Golf Club.

The 25-year-old Englishman carded five birdies on the front nine followed by an eagle on the par-5 10th, a bogey on the 12th and two more birdies to reach 15-under 201, three strokes ahead of fellow Brit Simon Khan - who also shot a 64, Sweden's Alexander Noren (66) and New Zealand's Michael Campbell (68).

"Yeah, I played pretty nicely. I wouldn't say it's one of my best. One of my better ones but not my best," said Wood, who's only victory as a touring pro came last August in the OneAsia Tour's Thailand Open. "I played similar to the way I played on Wednesday, the first round. Shot 67, could have been a few better."

South Africa's Branden Grace (67) and 36-hole co-leader Sergio Garcia of Spain (70) are tied for fifth at 205. Garcia's other co-leaders starting the third round - Australia's Marcus Fraser (71), Germany's Martin Kaymer (72), and Portugal's Ricardo Santos (76) - are further down the leaderboard.

Khan got off to a hot start with six birdies in his first seven holes; the 40-year-old added two more birdies the rest of the way. "It was really good fun on the front nine, and I had a good up and down, actually, out of the sort of waste area on three, which is a real tough one. Managed to par that and that really kept me going," he said.

"And then, you know, to make all those birdies in a row on some difficult holes, as well, was great. I had a chance on nine, a 10-footer to go out in 29 and that's the moment I thought about it and didn't hit a good putt."

Despite falling four strokes behind Wood, Garcia still has a chance in Saturday's final round. "I can be a little bit disappointed with the score but not with the way I played," said Garcia, who had four birdies and two bogeys. "Hopefully the putts that didn't want to go in today will go in tomorrow."

Other scores included a 67 by American Jason Dufner, which moved him into a tie for 15th at 8-under 208 with, among others, Louis Oosthuizen (68).

For all the scores, visit http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2013/tournamentid=2013007/leaderboard/index.html?showLeaderboard=Y.