Woosie Shares Top Spot in Qatar

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DOHA, Qatar -- Former Masters winner and two-time Order of Merit champion Ian Woosnam posted his second consecutive 3-under 69 on Friday to grab a piece of first place midway through the Qatar Masters.
 
Woosnam stands at 6-under-par 138 and is tied for first place with two of the six overnight co-leaders Andrew Oldcorn (70) and Nobuhito Sato (70), as well as Gregory Havret (68) and Gary Murphy (67).
 
The leaderboard is jammed, in fact it's so tight that it set a European Tour record. The 36-hole cut fell at 1-under-par 143 and the five strokes between that and the lead established a new tour record for fewest strokes between the two.
 
'Anybody who gets off to a good start tomorrow can be right up the leaderboard in no time at all,' said Woosnam.
 
The Wales native started slowly with a bogey at the fifth and nine pars. He tallied four birdies on his way into the clubhouse to take a share of his first 36-hole lead since the German Masters in the fall of 2002.
 
'That's my first cut of the year but I don't think that means much,' said Woosnam, who won the green jacket in 1991. 'A little bit of form and confidence on the greens and it can all come back. I think the long putter has made a difference. There was a point at the 10th when I worried about making the cut but I hit some good shots to get into the lead.'
 
Oldcorn, who was among the leaders with a 68 after Thursday's opening, was 1-over when he made the turn. He recorded birdies at 11, 14 and 16 to earn his piece of the lead.
 
Oldcorn won the 2001 Volvo PGA Championship but has done almost nothing since.
 
'I think I relaxed after winning the Volvo PGA Championship,' admitted the Scotland native. 'I wasn't very motivated. I was very disappointed I didn't make The Ryder Cup team that year after trying so hard to make it.'
 
Sato, who turned 34 on Friday, tallied two birdies on the second nine at Doha Golf Club, his front nine in the second round. He parred his remaining holes to get atop the leaderboard.
 
Havret, a Frenchman who earned his first tour victory three years ago at the Italian Open, was 3 under on his round but birdied No. 18 to reach the logjam at minus-6.
 
Murphy, who made three of four cuts this season prior to this week, mixed seven birdies and two bogeys for his 67, the lowest round of the five co-leaders.
 
There is a huge group tied for sixth place at 5-under-par 139.
 
Defending champion Darren Fichardt (69), overnight co-leaders Pierre Fulke (71) and Martin Wiegele (71), Emanuele Canonica (67), Brian Davis (70), Kenneth Ferrie (67), Joakim Haeggman (64), Peter Hedblom (69), Miguel Angel Jimenez (68), Michael Jonzon (69), Jose Manuel Lara (67), Paul Marantz (67), Richard McEvoy (67) and Steven O'Hara (70) are all one shot behind the leaders.
 
Matthew Blackey and Paul Broadhurst, the final two players who shared the first-round lead, managed rounds of 1-over 73 and are part of a group tied for 31st at minus-3.
 
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