Retief Goosen continued to impress at the 2.2 million dollar Qatar Masters with a second round four-under-par 68 at the Doha Golf Club on Friday.
The South African, who teed off in the morning with a one-shot lead after the first round, is in the comfort zone, his 11-under-par aggregate of 133 giving him a share of the lead with Australian Richard Green who fired a splendid 65 on Australia Day to go with his first round 68.
Aussie southpaw Nick O'Hern was in sole second position on nine under par 135 with China's Liang Wen-Chong, Scotland's Paul Lawrie, Swede Henrik Stenson and Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiminez a further shot behind on 136
Goosen, who started from the 10th tee, started with a birdie and picked up three more shots before running into rough weather over the final nine holes where he had a birdie and a bogey.
"Today I was much better off the tee," said Goosen, who missed half the fairways in the first round.
"My driving was much better and hit 11 fairways which was not bad although I lost my concentration a bit later. There are 36 holes left to be played."
Green enjoys greens
Green shot a bogey-free round, beginning with two successive birdies and then scored on the sixth, 11th, 16th and 18th holes to put himself in contention for Sunday's top prize.
"I played very nicely," said Green. "It has been quite a pleasure being out there. I never looked like making a bogey."
Green who won the 1997 title in Dubai, said he was due for another win soon.
"I would like to have another one, it would be fantastic. I always play well here so let's see what happens."
Green said it was nice to have done well on Australia Day. "It's a day worth celebrating so it's a nice score to celebrate," said Green, a left-hander like O'Hern.
O'Hern was two strokes off the pace with a three under par 68.
"I played good golf for 27 holes but the back nine was one of those where things got a bit scrappy," he said.
"I got it up and down for some pars, but I am okay with that. A couple of bogeys coming in doesn't leave a nice taste in the mouth."
World No. 5 and 2005 Qatar Masters winner Ernie Els had an indifferent round by his standards, two bogeys and a double bogey six on the 12th hole giving him a 71 for the day to go with his first round 69.
"I hit a couple of shots I don't normally hit and (they) were costly," said Els. "I will put that down to early season."
Els admitted he had lots of catching up to do over the next two days.
"Retief is 11 under at the moment so I am seven behind and need some good numbers," he said.