Adrian Otaegui produced a 6-under 66 on Friday and will take a one-shot lead into the weekend at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
The 25-year old Spaniard made birdies on Nos. 16, 17 and 18 to sign for a 66 at Doha Golf Club to reach 11 under, one clear of compatriot Eddie Pepperell (69), Scot Stephen Gallacher (66), Frenchman Grégory Havret (69), and South African Erik van Rooyen (66), who all sit T2 at 10-under par.
Otaegui has become the model of consistency on Tour, and will be making his 10th-straight weekend appearance, with his last MC coming nearly 5 months ago at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
“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,” said Otaegui, who won his maiden European Tour title last year at the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play.
“I’m really looking forward to the weekend now. I just wanted to stay patient hole after hole and we’ll see what happens.”
South African George Coetzee posted a second-day 66 to sit in a group at 9 under that also included American Sean Crocker (68), England’s Oliver Fisher (69), German Sebastian Heisele (68) and Spaniard Pablo Larrazábal (67).
Raphaël Jacquelin used the shot of the day – a hole-out albatross (-3) on the par-5 10th – to post a 66 and reach 8 under, alongside compatriot Mike Lorenzo-Vera (68), Spaniards Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño (68) and Alvaro Quiros (70) and Englishman Ryan Evans (67).
In total there were 34 players within five shots of the lead, as the mild winds in the Qatari capital produced lower than expected scores, setting the cut line at 4 under – two shots lower than the previous tournament record.
1 Adrian Otaegui -11
2 Eddie Pepperell -10
2 Gregory Havret -10
2 Stephen Gallacher -10
2 Erik van Rooyen -10
6 Sebastian Heisele -9
6 George Coetzee -9
6 Pablo Larrazabal -9
6 Sean Crocker -9
6 Oliver Fisher -9
VIDEO: CLUTCH SHOT
Sweden’s Pontus Widegren nearly aces the par-4 16th hole, leaving himself with a “kick-in in eagle” to move to 4-under par, and slide into the weekend on the cut line.
“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.”
– Adrian Otaegui
Credits: Getty Images, European Tour Media