Paul Lawrie one ahead of Nicolas Colsaerts at the Qatar Masters
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 29/01/16 2:11pm
Nicolas Colsaerts birdied his final hole to move within one stroke of clubhouse leader Paul Lawrie after the second round of the Qatar Masters.
The Belgian, who featured in Europe's winning Ryder Cup team alongside Lawrie in 2012, posted a four-under 68 in blustery conditions in Doha to get to ten under for the tournament and close the gap on the Scot.
Beginning on the back nine, Colsaerts only reached the turn level par but card a second-nine 32 to move up the leaderboard, following an eagle-three at the first with gains at the fifth and the ninth.
"There's probably a few shots that I would like to have back or have again," Colsaerts told Sky Sports 4. "The front nine was a bit scruffy and I missed a few.
"Then I made a fantastic eagle on the first and that sort of got me back in to the rhythm that I was kind of hoping for. Four under is a pretty decent score today I think."
Lawrie, looking for his third Qatar title and first European Tour victory since 2012, finished strongly on another day of low scoring to birdie three of his final six holes, while three players are tied for third on nine under.
Andrew Johnston recovered from a double bogey on the third to card a 69, while Gregory Bourdy became the first person in tournament history to ace the eighth on his way to carding a 68.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello completes the trio having left a final-hole birdie putt short of the cup, with former champion Sergio Garcia, Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen and Sweden's Pelle Edberg part of the group a shot further back.
In his first appearance of the year, Garcia holed a monster birdie putt at the eighth on his way to a six-under 66 but was once again left frustrated not to post a lower round.
"Probably from the 17th hole onward, I hit six really good putts that looked like they were going in and they didn't," Garcia told Sky Sports 4. "I ended up making a bomb on eight, but obviously it could have been a little bit better."
Defending champion Branden Grace carded a five-under 67 to move within four shots Lawrie alongside overnight joint-leader Pablo Larrazabal, with Louis Oosthuizen a further stroke back.
Last week's Abu Dhabi Golf Championship runner-up Thomas Pieters narrowly made the cut with a second-round 68, but EurAsia Cup winning pair Matt Fitzpatrick and Chris Wood as well as two-time major champion John Daly face an early exit.
Watch the Qatar Masters throughout the week live on Sky Sports 4 - your home of golf. Third round coverage begins on Friday from 9.30am.