Lawrie ready to enjoy the weekend after six-birdie haul at Doha

There was no hiding Peter Lawrie’s delight after moving inside the top-10 on day two of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in Doha.

Lawrie ready to enjoy the weekend after six-birdie haul at Doha

Lawrie managed six birdies and dropped just two shots in a four under par 68 to earn a share of 10th place on six under par, only three strokes off the lead.

Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger (66) and the South African pair of Branden Grace (68) and George Coetzee (67) share the lead on nine under par with three others on eight under par.

Lawrie’s effort is the first occasion in nearly four months he is guaranteed four rounds since sharing 40th place in last September’s European Masters.

“I’m just delighted as a 68 is a good score, especially under the circumstances said as I am here on invitation,” said Lawrie.

“The goal was just to play as well as I can when I was presented with an opportunity, and for two rounds I’ve done just that,” he said.

Lawrie commenced his round from the 10th and started for a second day with a birdie in landing a 20-yard chip shot seven feet behind the flag and holing the putt.

He dropped a shot at 15 but then holed a five-footer at 18 or his ninth before two-putting at the 11th for a birdie ahead of the shot of his round at the par four, fourth hole or his 13th where Lawrie played a 163-yard 8-iron from the rough to just two feet.

Lawrie dropped a shot at the fifth hole but birdies following at the seventh and his final hole, the par five ninth where he landed a 114-yard gap wedge third shot to 15 feet pin-high right and drained the putt.

“That birdie there on my 18th was easily the most enjoyable and just to finish the day off well,” Lawrie said.

“Now that I am here for the weekend, I am not about to get carried away and all I can still do is look at each round and each week as it comes. “I just can’t look forward at all as I just don’t have the opportunity given I know I am only playing the next two weeks, in Dubai and out in Malaysia so it will be a case of trying to make as much hay as I possibly can while the sun continues to shine.

“But deep down I am delighted with myself as it’s been a long road and the last cheque I made was last September in Switzerland.”

George Coetzee, Bernd Wiesberger and Branden Grace share the lead at the halfway stage. South African Coetzee improved on his opening-day 68 by a single stroke after mixing six birdies with a bogey in Doha while Wiesberger joined him on nine-under with a round of 66.

The Austrian — seeking his first European Tour win since 2012 — holed back-to-back birdies across four holes on the back nine to finish strongly. Grace’s measured four-under 68 steered him into a three-way tie for first place.

Joining Lawrie over the final two rounds in the Qatar capital is Damien McGrane who carded a 70 to move to four under par and join Belfast’s Michael Hoey on that score after his round of 69.

“This is my first cut of the New Year and the conditions were perfect out there today, so it was good to take advantage,” said Hoey.

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