DOHA, Qatar – Adrian Otaegui birdied his last three holes and carded a 6-under-par 66 to take a one-shot lead at the Qatar Masters on Friday.
Otaegui moved to 11-under overall after the second round and clear of four players tied for second at Doha Golf Club.
Overnight joint leaders Eddie Pepperell and Gregory Havret shot 69s to go to 10 under, and they were joined by South African Challenge Tour graduate Erik van Rooyen (66) and Scottish veteran Stephen Gallacher (66).
Otaegui, from Spain, has one title on the European Tour, last year at the Paul Lawrie Match Play Championship.
In Doha, he started his second round with a birdie and ended it with three of them, and had seven birdies and one bogey in all.
“It’s always great to finish with a birdie and even better to finish with three birdies,” Otaegui said. “The conditions were similar to the first round. There was no wind; it’s a low scoring course this year.
“Last week (tied for 12th in Oman) gave me good feelings. I know I’m playing well, I’m confident with my game at the moment and I’m just trying to keep my momentum going.”
Pepperell made a slow start blemished by a bogey on the sixth hole, but recovered on the back with an eagle on the 10th and further gains on 16 and 18.
“I’m happy with that really,” said the Englishman seeking his first win on the tour. “I played amazing tee to green the first 12 or 13 holes but holed nothing. Then I felt like my swing crept away from me a little at the end and I made the most of the finish, so I’ll take that to be honest.”
On the par-5 10th hole, Raphael Jacquelin holed his 245-yard second shot with a two-hybrid for his first career albatross. That helped the Frenchman finish on 66 for the day and move to 8 under for the tournament.
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