DOHA, Qatar: Jorge Campillo and Andy Sullivan shared the lead heading into the weekend at the 2020 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters but they had a host of European Tour winners breathing down their necks at Education City Golf Club.
Sullivan took advantage of the low winds in the morning to fire a second consecutive 66 and get to ten under and it looked for a long time as if the Englishman would not be caught at the top of a congested leaderboard. But Campillo went blemish-free in posting a 66 of his own to also get to double figures and join Sullivan in top spot.
Swede Alexander Björk carded the lowest round of the week and his European Tour career with a 63 to sit at nine under alongside countryman Marcus Kinhult, England’s Oliver Fisher, Frenchman Romain Langasque and Dutchman Joost Luiten.
Sullivan has been one of the European Tour’s most consistent performers in recent seasons but has not quite hit the heights that made him a three time winner in 2015, with one top ten so far this season.
I’ve got it under lock at the moment, he said. I feel like I am in control of myself, which is the most important thing for me, I really felt like I took my time a little bit more on shots and stuff.
I feel like I have grown up a little bit now on the golf course. I think that having a laugh on the golf course is all well and good, and I still enjoy it but, for me, I have really had to knuckle down the past two days to keep myself in check because there are times when I find myself wandering.
It has been difficult and it is something new for me, trying to keep focused for so long, normally I drift in and out a little bit but it’s been really good and positive signs as the golf has been really good.
Last season Campillo claimed his maiden European Tour win at the 229th time of asking at the Trophée Hassan II as he secured five top fives in six starts, but he has had just one top ten since.
I’ve worked on a few things over the last week and in Oman, he said. It’s working out good and I’m putting great as well – I’ve been putting awfully lately – and it’s been a great two days.
It’s a nice position to be in going into the weekend, hopefully I can play like this and if I do I’m going to have a good chance to win on Sunday.
Sullivan birdied the tenth and the 13th and when he made another gain on the 14th, he led alone.
His solo spell at the top was brief as he dropped a shot on the next but a ten footer on the first and another birdie on the next briefly put him two ahead. He would not be there for long, however, as Kinhult birdied the tenth, 12th and 14th and, while he bogeyed the next, he birdied the first and eagled the par five second to share the lead.
A 25 foot putt on the fourth edged Kinhult ahead but Sullivan joined him from similar range on the eighth before the reigning Betfred British Masters champion rolled off the same green to surrender a bogey. In the afternoon, Campillo made birdies on the second, sixth, seventh and 11th, getting down in two from off the green at the par five 13th to share top spot.
Björk made birdies on the second, fourth, fifth, seventh, 12th, 14th and 15th and a long putt on the 17th left him one back.
Langasque picked up six shots in as many holes from the ninth including a spectacular eagle from a fairway bunker at the 12th in a 64, while Luiten made birdies on the fourth, 12th and 15th in a blemish free 68. In the penultimate group of the day, Fisher matched Langasque’s 64, making eight birdies and a bogey in his lowest round of the season so far.
Danish trio Nicolai Højgaard, Benjamin Poke and Jeff Winther, South African Darren Fichardt, Scotland’s Scott Jamieson and England’s Jack Senior were three shots off the lead.
Meanwhile former world No.1 Martin Kaymer carded a one-under-par 70 which however proved not enough for the German to make the cut.
Qatar Open amateur champion Michael Young, the winner in the professional category Mathiam Keyser, Qatar’s Saleh Al Kaabi and al Al Shahrani also missed the cut.
Source: Qatar Olympic Committee