Eddie Pepperell joined by Aaron Rai and Gregory Havret at 7-under-65
Eddie Pepperell, Aaron Rai, and Gregory Havret made the most of calm conditions at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
Doha Golf Club is known for its windy conditions, the morning was quite calm comparatively and the leading trio all took advantage with seven under par rounds of 65.
When your final shot is your best shot ?
Posted by European Tour on Thursday, February 22, 2018
Oliver Fisher, Edoardo Molinari Marcel Schneider, and Alvaro Quiros shared the fourth place on the board by a shot at six-under-par-66.
Pepperell missed his first two cuts of the season but survived the weekend at Maybank and NBO Oman Open which are won by Shubhankar Sharma and Joost Luiten, with the help from his new coach Pepperell is looking positive with his game.
“I’ve made some changes this week with personnel so I’ve been working on a couple of new things and I surprised myself out there with how well I managed to trust it,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to the weekend but even more so moving forward to the rest of the season. I want to push forward and I just feel like my game has been hitting ceilings a bit. I want to break through that.”
Frenchman Havret missed three cuts of the season and believes that putting was the main cause for the same and has come back prepared for the week with a lot of green practice.
“I was putting well and that’s definitely the key,” he said. “Last week I didn’t play much different and I missed the cut by a lot.
“As soon as you feel your putting is not able to compensate for your mistakes you put more pressure on your driving and your iron shots and then it can be a disaster as you try things that you normally don’t. It’s all part of the process if you putt well you feel comfortable.”
Rai made the jump to the European Tour after a successful stint and winning three events on the Challenge Tour, and a 65 today equaled his best round since he made the move.
Pepperell made eight birdies and a bogey on the par-3 13th, the only blemish in his round for the share of the lead. Havret climbed to the top with a bogey-free round consisting seven birdies and five of them coming in just six holes from the sixth. They both battled it out for long before they both had to settle it for a draw and returned to the clubhouse, Aaron Rai joined them with a bogey-free round consisting an astonishing eagle on the par-5 18th and birdies on the 1st, 6th, 9th, 12th, and 16th holes.
Shubhankar Sharma and SSP Chawrasia are the only Indians present in the field. Shubhankar missed his cut last week at the NBO Oman Open after winning Maybank Championship in Malaysia and he is surely looking to finish better at this event.
Shubhankar posted 3-under-par-69 for the day consisting birdies on the 4th, 10th, 11th, 16th, and 17th and a double-bogey on the par-4 15th which halted his further advances before he managed to overcome it with back to back birdies on the next two holes. Shubhankar now stands at T-40th with George Coetzee, Haydn Porteous, Scott Fernandez, Matt Wallace, Andy Sullivan, David Howell, Ryan Evans, Sebastien Gros, Henric Sturehed, and Matthew Southgate.
Chawrasia finished the round for 1-over-par-73 at a T-106th position on the board with Sam Brazel, Daniel Im, Pontus Widegren, Darren Fichardt, Scott Hend, and Marcel Siem.