Date: January 26, 2007
Author: Sportal

O’Hern one off lead in Qatar

Sportal Nick O&aposHern has fired a six-under par round of 66 to be one stroke from the lead after the opening round of the Qatar Masters in Doha. The Australian recorded a bogey-free round which featured four birdies and an eagle on the last to move into equal second place alongside Spaniard Miguel Angel Jim nez. The West Australian threw caution to the wind on the 18th, reaching the 536-metre par five hole in two before draining a monster 60-foot putt to finish his round on a high. South African Retief Goosen leads the way after carding an opening round of 65 leaving him out in front at seven-under par. Goosen has begun the year in fine form, finishing fifth in last week&aposs Abu Dhabi Championship after taking a month&aposs break following victories in the China Masters and South African Open during 2006. Early during his round the world No. 8 appeared on track to score a new BMW, the prize on offer for bettering the course record 63, but fell an agonisingly three strokes short. Richard Green is the next best Australian in the field, three strokes adrift of Goosen at four-under par while Stuart Appleby, David Bransdon, Scott Strange and Kane Webber are all at two-under the card. The winner of the European Tour event, being played at Doha Golf Club, will take home a cheque for $429,000. First round of the Qatar Masters (par 72) -7: Retief Goosen 65 -6: Miguel Angel Jim nez 66, Nick O&aposHern (Australia) 66 -5: Shiv Kapur 67 -4: Nick Dougherty 68, Richard Green (Australia) 68, Edward Michaels 68, Henrik Stenson 68 -3: Yasin Ali 69, Ariel Canete 69, Andrew Coltart 69, Ernie Els 69, Paul Lawrie 69, Wen-Chong Liang 69, Mardan Mamat 69, Chinarat Phadungsil 69, Jeev Milkha Singh 69, Jong Yul Suk 69 Also: -2: Stuart Appleby (Australia) 70, David Bransdon (Australia) 70, Scott Strange (Australia) 70, Kane Webber (Australia) 70, Michael Campbell (New Zealand) 70, Mahal Pearce (New Zealand) 70 -1: Marcus Both (Australia) 71, Terry Pilkadaris (Australia) 71 E: Tony Carolan (Australia) 72, Gary Simpson (Australia) 72 +1: Peter O&aposMalley (Australia) 73, Unho Park (Australia) 73 +2: Adam Blyth (Australia) 74, Adam Groom (Australia) 74, Brad Kennedy (Australia) 74 +3: Scott Barr (Australia) 75 +4: Adam Le Vesconte (Australia) 76 +7: Richard Lee (New Zealand) 79