Doha (Qatar): Darren Fichardt emerged as the sole leader on the penultimate day of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at Education City Golf Club on Saturday.
The South African will take a one-stroke lead into the final round as he bids to win the Mother of Pearl trophy for the second time in Qatar.
The five-time European Tour winner, who won this event in 2003 put all his experience to good use in very difficult windy conditions to card a 70 which included a double bogey and two further dropped shots.
“When I started today, I couldn’t get the pace right, the greens sped up significantly with the wind. I was three-whacking like it was going out of fashion, on every green. Luckily, I figured my swing out on the range before I teed off,” Fichardt told europeantour.com
The 45-year old’s first win in Qatar came 18 years back at the Doha Golf Club and come Sunday he will have a go at the tile at the ECGC.
England’s Jack Senior, two-time winner on the European Challenge Tour, was on the second spot and will be looking for a maiden European Tour victory on Sunday.
“Then I got to the par five 13 – that’s a hell of a par five, plus wind. I walked off there making a double and felt a bit out of sorts,” he said.
On windy day just four players were under par as Senior carded a level par 71 to be in the second spot.
India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar carded a 68 at five under to move up 28 places and will go into the final day sitting in the third spot. He is a shot clear of Welshman Jamie Donaldson, Dane Joachim B. Hansen and Frenchman Antoine Rozner.