Date: January 25, 2008

Scott falls off pace

Adam Scott has fallen off the pace during the second round of the Qatar Masters after carding a one-over par 73 to be seven shots adrift of the leader, Johan Edfors. After beginning the day only two shots from the lead, the Australian got off to a perfect start with consecutive birdies on his opening two holes. But this was followed by three bogeys on the front nine and a double bogey on the par-four fourteenth which pushed the world No. 8 back down the leader board. Fellow Australian Peter O&aposMalley carded a two-under par round of 70 to join Scott at two-under par for the tournament, while Scott Strange is a further two strokes behind at even par. Three-time European Tour winner Johan Edfors stormed to the front of the pack to open up a two-stroke halfway lead over Englishman Lee Westwood and South African Charl Schwartzel. The big-hitting Dubai-based Swede carded a six-under-par 66, which included a scintillating run of six birdies in seven holes around the turn. His only blemish came at the 203-yard 13th, which is playing as one of the toughest holes on the course with only five birdies recorded during the second round. Edfors won three times in 2006 and finished 10th on the Order of Merit but could manage only 67th last season, with his best result coming in his final event of the year with a tie for fifth in October&aposs Mallorca Classic. “I took two months off last year and had a good think about what I did,” the 32-year-old said. “I wasn&apost happy with the way I was playing and how I was feeling on the course. I wasn&apost enjoying myself as much as I usually do and I changed some aspects, especially during tournament week, so now I think I&aposm getting back into the shape I want to be.” Joint overnight leader Westwood recorded a solid second-round 70 to move to seven under alongside South Africa&aposs Schwartzel, who signed for a bogey-free 67 at a chilly Doha Golf Club. In-form Westwood has been unhappy with the way he has started recent tournaments after failing to overturn large final-round deficits, finishing second in his last two events. But this time the Worksop ace is in prime position to challenge over the weekend after bouncing back from an early bogey with three birdies. “I played okay, I just couldn&apost get momentum. I had chances on the first two holes and dropped one at five, which was a bit disappointing,” said Westwood. “I am still in a fine position for the weekend and if nothing goes for you, you can&apost be disappointed. Seventy is a good score in these conditions. “There are not many people shooting that and it&aposs there or thereabouts, two behind going into the weekend is a lot better than last week.” A resurgent David Howell, who admitted his second-round 68 was slightly fortunate, is a further shot adrift alongside Ross McGowan, Sweden&aposs Alexander Noren and co-overnight leader Anton Haig. Colin Montgomerie, upbeat following his bogey-free 68, sits at five under alongside Nick Dougherty, who carded a 67, with Oliver Wilson, Anthony Wall and former champion Andrew Coltart a further shot back. Coltart is only playing this week due to his victory at the inaugural 1998 Qatar Masters after failing to retain his card last November. After starting the day at level par, Paul Casey missed his second consecutive cut after a 74. Montgomerie, however, is determined to compete with the new breed of young players and is confident he can regain his place in the world&aposs top 50. After targeting &aposthree top-10s or a couple of top fives&apos from this year&aposs three-event desert swing, Montgomerie slipped a further four places to 65th on the world rankings after finishing 23rd in Abu Dhabi last week. He is well aware a return to the world&aposs top 50 by the start of April is necessary to ensure a place at the Masters at Augusta later that month. “I&aposm way down the world rankings and I&aposve got to improve and the only way of doing it is competing with these guys. If I&aposm not I might as well pack it in,” he said. “I&aposve got to come out here and do what I do best and that&aposs try and score well and today was good. I had no bogeys and 68 was a good score. If I don&apost make a bogey over the weekend I have a great chance of winning.” Richard Green was the only other Australian to make the cut at one-over par while New Zealander Michael Campbell fired a one-under par round of 71 to ensure he would remain part of the weekend action.