Doha (Qatar): Jeff Winther made the most of the perfect early morning conditions at the Education City Golf Club to take the lead on the second day of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters on Saturday.
The Dane carded five birdies and a single bogey to post a second successive 67 and get to 8-under par in the European Tour event.
Winther, who is looking for his maiden European Tour title, started proceedings at 6.45am but as the day progress the wind picked up pace making life on the course difficult for the others golfers who had late tee off’s.
Finland’s Kalle Samooja and South African Darren Fichardtcame close to joining Winther atop the summit but unable to stay put with two late bogeys shattering their plans.
Besides Samooja and Fichardt, on six under at the second spot were American Kurt Kitayama, Welshman Jamie Donaldson and England’s Jack Senior.
Play was suspended due to fading light at 5.40pm local time, with Joakim Lagergren, who is four under with three holes still to complete, one of 15 players who must return early on Saturday.
On Friday morning, Winther began the day three shots off the pace and remained at four under as he reached the turn but shifted gears thereafter to set a pace which no other late starters could keep pace with.
Winther admitted he was fortunate to avoid the worst of the wind.
“The wind is quite severe now. We were lucky. On the last three or four holes it was really starting to pick up. Playing around 15-20 yards further, you’ve got to be on your game,” said Wionther, who is currently in 61st place in the Race to Dubai.
“The greens are very nice. I don’t want to jinx myself but I think they are easy to putt on. They are very true. The condition is the same as last year, it’s beautiful.”