Three Tied at Commercial Bank Qatar Masters After 18 Holes

Eddie Pepperell

After the opening round of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, Grégory Havret, Eddie Pepperell and Aaron Rai sit tied atop the leaderboard at 7-under 65.

Havret and Rai each signed for bogey-free cards, while Pepperell finished with one blemish.

The Englishman Rai’s bogey-free 65 came by the way of an eagle and five birdies, whereas Havret’s clean card included seven birdies, highlighted by four straight on hole Nos. 8-11. Afterwards, the Frenchman cited his putting performance as the key to the day’s co-low round at Doha Golf Club.

“I was putting well and that’s definitely the key. Last week I didn’t play much different and I missed the cut by a lot,” said Havret, who finished T21 at last week’s NBO Oman Open.

“As soon as you feel your putting is not able to compensate for your mistakes you put more pressure on your driving and your iron shots and then it can be a disaster as you try things that you normally don’t. It’s all part of the process, if you putt well you feel comfortable.”

Pepperell, also of England, took some recent mechanic tweaks into live action on Thursday, and finished with a high-round of eight birdies.

“I’ve made some changes this week with personnel so I’ve been working on a couple of new things and I surprised myself out there with how well I managed to trust it,” said Pepperell.

“It’s been pretty nice on the range, although yesterday it was a bit of a grind, a bit of a struggle in the afternoon so I was in my room in my boxers doing some drills last night.

“I’m looking forward to the weekend but even more so moving forward to the rest of the season. I want to push forward and I just feel like my game has been hitting ceilings a bit. I want to break through that.”

England’s Oliver Fisher, Italian Edoardo Molinari, Spaniard Alvaro Quiros and German Marcel Schneider were a shot off the lead at 6 under.

Sitting T8 were Belgian Thomas Detry, American Sean Crocker, Italian Lorenzo Gagli, German Sebastian Heisele, Finn Mikko Ilonen, Spaniard Adrian Otaegui and England’s Joshua White at 5 under, a shot clear of a group of 24 players.


TOP 10

1 Eddie Pepperell -7
1 Gregory Havret -7
1 Aaron Rai -7
4 Edoardo Molinari -6
4 Marcel Schneider -6
4 Alvaro Quiros -6
4 Oliver Fisher -6
8 Sebastian Heisele -5
8 Adrian Otaegui -5
8 Mikko Ilonen -5
8 Thomas Detry -5
8 Sean Crocker -5
8 Lorenzo Gagli -5
8 Joshua White -5


VIDEO: SHOT OF THE DAY

Edoardo Molinari with a hole-out birdie on the par-5 18th hole.

A post shared by European Tour (@europeantour) on


QUOTABLE

“I’m looking forward to the weekend but even more so moving forward to the rest of the season. I want to push forward and I just feel like my game has been hitting ceilings a bit. I want to break through that.”
-Eddie Pepperell


Credit: Getty Images, European Tour Media


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