Putting gives Coetzee Qatar lead

George Coetzee included a three-putt in his 21 strokes on the greens at Doha Golf Club, where he led the first round of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters on eight-under-par.


“It suits my eye. I really enjoy this place. We don’t have a desert at home, but there is space off the tees. I had 21 putts with a three-putt, which goes to show that I’m hitting it a little better,” he said.


The 27-year-old birdied the final three holes to stretch out a one-shot lead over England’s Steve Webster during the second leg of the European Tour’s Desert Swing series.


“I’m busy working on my swing,” said Coetzee. “It’s nice to shoot good numbers when you’re working on things and I can’t wait for this to click, because it might be unstoppable then.”


Webster hit the shot of the day from 232 metres into the 10th green, where his ball found the cup for an albatross courtesy of his accurate five-wood.


Coetzee also had a share of fortune and avoided trouble, with the exception of a double-bogey six at the 11th.


“I’m quite lucky to get away with a couple of the shots I hit today, but another good putting display to shoot a nice number. There is a lot of luck involved in this game, but there is still long way to go, so we’ll see,” he said.


Dawie van der Walt, Thomas Aiken, Ernie Els and Branden Grace all appeared in the top 10 upon completion of the first round.


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