Stenson eyes wind of change

Retief Goosen stayed cool in the desert heat to move two shots clear at the top of the Commercialbank Qatar Masters leaderboard but defending champion Henrik Stenson is hoping the weather takes a turn for the worse over the weekend.

Retief Goosen stayed cool in the desert heat to move two shots clear at the top of the Commercialbank Qatar Masters leaderboard but defending champion Henrik Stenson is hoping the weather takes a turn for the worse over the weekend.

The course at the Doha Golf Club is notorious for its windy conditions but that has been conspicuous by its absence in the first two rounds this year.

Goosen took advantage to card five birdies and just one bogey yesterday, a four-under-par 68 adding to his first-round 65 and leaving him alongside Australian Richard Green on 11 under.

And Stenson, who also carded a four-under 68 and who is three shots behind Goosen, is hoping the wind picks up over the weekend.

“He [Goosen] seems to be playing well,” said the Swede. “There are a few guys I need to catch on the weekend but it is possible and I am happy with my game.

“If the wind picks up, that might be factor that helps me a little bit.

“I said earlier in the week that there would be slightly higher scores but I guess the wind is not as bad as it usually is, so that is the reason for the scores being a lot lower.

“We have a better field as well but I am going to try and play well for another two rounds. My game feels good. I am in a good position, just a couple of shots behind.

“I’m a little disappointed not to pick up one on 16 or 18. I think I hit some decent shots or chips but they didn’t end up how I thought they would.

“I have played pretty solid. You always want to hole a few more putts but I am happy with the way I have hit the ball.

“I was hitting it well off the tee and some decent iron shots so I was maybe eight out of 10.”

Meanwhile, Chris DiMarco was also hoping to gatecrash the top of the leaderboard over the weekend after a much-improved display yesterday.

The American disappointed on the opening day with a one-over 73 but he bounced back in the second round to card seven birdies and just one bogey for a six-under-par 66, five under overall.

Last week, DiMarco finished fourth in the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and he is delighted with his start to 2007.

“My whole thing this year is to try to be consistent and, to finish fourth last week and this week to put myself right back in the hunt, I am very happy with the way things are going.

“Hopefully, the next two days will be really good and I can catch Retief. He is a tough one to catch.

“He is a good front-runner and I’ll have to play more good golf.”

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