Rum­ford takes the lead in Doha

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

DOHA: Aus­tralia’s Brett Rum­ford moved into con­tention for a fourth Euro­pean Tour victory af­ter grab­bing a one-stroke lead in the sec­ond round of the Qatar Mas­ters yes­ter­day.

The 32-year-old birdied six of his open­ing 10 holes in calm con­di­tions to card six-un­der­par 66, fin­ish­ing with nine­un­der-par 135.

Bri­tain’s Bradley Dredge fired a 69 to move into sec­ond on eight un­der. Fel­low Bri­tons Oliver Wil­son (70) and Lee Westwood (69) shared third place on seven un­der, while Swedish duo Ni­clas Fasth (68) and Robert Karls­son (70) were tied fifth on six un­der.

Rum­ford, who is ranked a lowly 360th, was sur­prised to end the day on top of the leader­board.

“I haven’t re­ally thought about lead­ing at all,” he said. “I was just try­ing to do my own thing out there to­day. I didn’t look at any score­board. I made some nice up-and-downs, and it was my front nine that was the key as I birdied five of the nine holes in­clud­ing the last two.

“I then played steady com­ing home so I am more than pleased to be lead­ing by one.”

Af­ter cap­tur­ing his third Euro­pean Tour ti­tle in 2007 Rum­ford headed to the US Tour Qual­i­fy­ing School where he was suc­cess­ful in gain­ing his Tour card. How­ever, the move back­fired as he for­feited his Tour mem­ber­ship af­ter play­ing all four rounds in just nine of 25 events.

Al­though Rum­ford de­cided to re­gain his con­fi­dence by re­turn­ing to Europe, where he opened the 2009 sea­son by mak­ing the cut 12 times in suc­ces­sion, he did re­gret aban­don­ing his Amer­i­can ad­ven­ture.

“The first year over there in 2008... was a pretty tough goal to try and main­tain a Tour card. I thought I would ex­cel. A few play­ers have done that but it’s very dif­fi­cult.”

Dredge, looking for his first Tour victory since 2006, added a three-un­der-par 69 to his ear­lier score of 67.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been in this po­si­tion, be­cause I’ve had two poor years,” he said. “I’ve been work­ing hard to try and get my­self back up there. I’m pleased.” – Reuters

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