Chilled-Out Oosthuizen Takes Three-Shot Lead At Commercialbank Qatar Masters

Doha, Qatar - Jan 23, 2009 (PRN): On a cold and often wet day of golf in the desert, South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen opened up a three-shot lead over Scotland’s Andrew Coltart with a superb seven under par 65 on day two of the $2.5 million Commercialbank Qatar Masters, Presented by Dolphin Energy, at Doha Golf Club.

The 26 year-old South African, still searching for his first European Tour title, shot a flawless round to add to his opening day 67 to top the leaderboard on twelve under par. And after finishing runner-up in Abu Dhabi last week, the man from Pinnacle Point has his eyes on breaking that European duck.

“I got a real boost from Abu Dhabi,” said Oosthuizen. “I was so close to getting into a play-off so it’s great to bring that form into Qatar. There are 36 holes left and I’ve got a good shot at this. I’m not going to do anything different over the next two rounds.”

It was a solid performance from the South African who openly admits to having tamed a temper that threatened his game.

“I used to be very aggressive on the course and had a big temper on me – I always thought I was better than I played. I handle myself a lot better now and have more fun on the course.”

Overnight leader and the first winner of the Qatar title back in 1998 Andrew Coltart stayed in the hunt thanks to a three under par 69, which saw him take an early lead into the clubhouse before a heavy downpour made conditions difficult for the late starters.

“There was a question whether I could follow that 66 up with a decent round and I managed it,” said Coltart. “I had a couple of scrappy moments, but obviously you can't play the same from one day to the next. I got the job done. Got my nice chips, got my nice pitches and got my nice putts and three under - I'm happy going into the weekend.

On a day that was more akin to a European winter than a balmy Gulf January, Spain’s big hitting Alvaro Quiros moved solidly into contention with a five under par 67 that sees him tied for third place with Australia’s Brett Rumford on eight under par.

There was mixed fortunes for the big guns hunting the prestigious Mother of Pearl Trophy in a field that features 38 of the world’s top 100 players. Defending champion Adam Scott scraped into the weekend with a two under par 70 that sees him eleven shots off the leader, while big hitting Americans Boo Weekley, Brandt Snedeker were not so fortunate – both players booking early flights back to the US after missing the cut.

Other notable scores going into the final two rounds sees overnight leaders Miguel Angel Jimenez and former champion Henrik Stenson on seven and six under par respectively, Lee Westwood and world number two Sergio Garcia on four under, Ernie Els on three under and Retief Goosen at two under par.

But the man they al have to catch is Lodewicus Theodorus Oosthuizen, the chilled out South African whose talent is as big as his name.



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