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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Sharvin safely through to weekend rounds in Qatar

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Cormac Sharvin found himself teetering on the cut-line number at one-over par through 16 holes of his second round when play was suspended on Friday at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters due to fading light.

Left with two holes to play and needing to par them, the same two holes that Sharvin bogeyed on Thursday afternoon, the Ardglass professional awoke as cool as a cucumber, nailing pars at 17 and 18 to ensure a weekend pay cheque in Doha.

Off the course since banking his second biggest career cheque when taking home €31,700 for his share of 21st place in February’s Saudi International, the 28-year old struggled to replicate the consistency of his opening 70, adding a 73 for a one-over 36-hole tally.

Having flown out the gate with a second hole eagle on Friday morning, Sharvin’s scorecard was littered with six bogeys and just two further gains but he finds himself out again already for round three at Education City Golf Club, even par through four holes of his moving day round at the time of writing and just inside the top-50.

Two men who won’t be joining him in the weekend rounds in Doha are fellow Irish, Jonathan Caldwell and Paul Dunne. Clandeboye professional Caldwell carded a much-improved one-under par 70 to reach three-over par, two shots shy of the required mark, while Dunne added a 78 to his opening 74 to finish well down the board at 10-over.

At the top, Jeff Winther is targeting a maiden European Tour win after carding a second consecutive round of 67 to reach eight-under par. The Dane, who finished third at Education City Golf Club last season, made four birdies on the back nine to move two strokes clear of a group of five players on six under par, before play was suspended due to darkness on Friday evening.

“I love coming back here,” said Winther. “I have good memories from last year even though two guys knocked me out. I really like this course – it’s great to play and the conditions are fantastic. I haven’t played for three weeks, but coming out here is fantastic.

“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.”

Jamie Donaldson, who represented Europe at The 2014 Ryder Cup, made the most of the benign conditions in the morning as he carded a three under par round of 68 to take a share of second place, while the afternoon starters battled gusts of up to 40 kilometres an hour.

Joining the Welshman on six under par are former Qatar Masters champion Darren Fichardt of South Africa, American Kurt Kitayama, Kalle Samooja of Finland and England’s Jack Senior.

Seven competitors share seventh place on five under par, including 2016 Ryder Cup player Thomas Pieters and Rolex Series winner Brandon Stone, with four groups to complete their second round from 7.30am local time on Saturday.

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