Louis Oosthuizen joined overnight leader Alvaro Quiros at the top of the Qatar Masters leaderboard this morning, a shot clear of former champion Henrik Stenson at the halfway point of an enthralling final round at Doha Golf Club.
Big-hitting Spaniard Quiros shot to the top of the third-round leaderboard yesterday with a brilliant bogey-free eight-under-par 64 but let slip his one-stroke overnight lead after struggling to continue the putting masterclass he displayed a day earlier. He reached the turn one over.
Despite a wayward opening drive accounting for an early bogey, Oosthuizen recovered to join his playing partner on 15 under.
Dubai-based Swede Stenson, the 2006 Qatar champion, reached the turn in a bogey-free two-under 34.
Ireland’s Damien McGrane made the biggest move of the final round as he roared up to 13 under helped by an eagle three at the 10th and was five under through 14 alongside Holland’s Maarten Lafeber.
Lafeber, playing with Stenson, picked up one shot in his opening nine holes.
The day did not get off to a great start for Oosthuizen as the South African hooked his opening drive into the desert.
After finally reaching the back of the green, he came within an inch of an unlikely par but was forced to settle for an opening bogey as his chip fell just short.
Both Quiros and Oosthuizen then produced similar hooks at the second. This time Oosthuizen recovered to save par, but Quiros – like his playing partner on the previous hole – duffed his chip out of the sand and shipped an early bogey.
Quiros returned to 16 under with a birdie at the fifth, but the hot putter which was a key part of yesterday’s brilliant round failed to fire over his next two holes as he three-putted the sixth and missed a three-foot par chance at the seventh to slip to 14 under.
His brief demise handed Oosthuizen a one-shot lead after the South African played a perfect tee shot into the par-three seventh to set up the birdie which saw him return him to 15 under.
But Quiros ensured a thrilling finale by rolling in a snaking 10-foot birdie putt at the ninth.