Three tied at Qatar Masters, Garcia lurks just 3 back

Second Round — European Tour — CommercialBank Qatar Masters — Doha Golf Club — Doha, Qatar —

Branden Grace, George Coetzee and Bernd Wiesberger — all past winners on the European Tour — co-lead the CommercialBank Qatar Masters through 36 holes at 9-under.

Grace, who won the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December, is 79th in the Official World Golf Ranking and 6th in the Race To Dubai standings through a handful of events. At 20-to-1 odds at, Grace was one of the betting favorites coming into the week at Doha Golf Club.

Wiesberger, who won twice in the 2012 season, shot 66 in round two keyed by a back-nine 31 that included four straight birdies at one point.

Marc Warren shot 65 and sits T-4 at the half way mark.

Spain’s Sergio Garcia, one of the best-ranked players in the field at No. 6, is T-10 at 6-under after back-to-back 3-under rounds. He was a 7-1 outright favorite to win this week. He won the title a season ago.

With a cut line at 2-under, several high-profile players struggled in Doha including former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel. He shot 78 in round two including an 8 on the par-3 8th hole. His round featured five more bogeys against four birdies.

Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson are T-44 and six back heading into the weekend. Overnight leader Oliver Fisher shot 1-over in round two and slipped back to T-10.

Other Golf News:

  • The LPGA Tour tees off its 2015 campaign next week in Florida at the inaugural Coates Golf Championship. Five of the Top 6 players in the Rolex Rankings are scheduled to complete and 15 of the Top 2o. In all, 45 of the Top 50 on the LPGA Tour Money List from last season are playing at Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club. Minjee Lee and Cheyenne Woods are also making their LPGA Tour rookie season debuts.
  • Reports indicate Golf Channel has hired Cara Robinson to join Morning Drive in late February as a co-host. The popular morning show is a must-see for many fans and those in the industry. Robinson earned her strips in Europe as a broadcaster and host.
  • The Waffle House signed LPGA Tour member Brooke Pancake to an endorsement deal.
  • Jimmy Walker, who was runner-up at the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Maui and then won last week’s Sony Open in Oahu, loves Hawaii. He is a whopping 55-under par during his last three tournament starts in the state.
  • Phil Mickelson is making his 2015 debut this week at the PGA Tour’s Humana Challenge. He is even par through one hole playing La Quinta Country Club — one of the three courses in the rotation this week. Just a handful of players have already teed off in the California desert near Palm Springs.