Golf: Campbell one shot off lead

Michael Campbell sits just one shot off the lead at the midway point of the Qatar Masters in Doha.

The New Zealander fired a second round four-under 68 overnight to be eight-under for the tournament.

The former US Open champion hit four birdies on the front nine become going even-par through the back nine.

The 43-year-old has shot even-card rounds or better in his last 10 rounds on the European Tour going back to the end of last year.

Ryder Cup stars Martin Kaymer and Sergio Garcia were among four players tied for the lead.

The leaderboard was crowded, with 15 players within three shots of the leaders, thanks to mainly calm conditions at Doha Golf Course.

Kaymer (67), Garcia (66) overnight leader Ricardo Santos of Portugal and Marcus Fraser of Australia were at 9-under-par totals of 135. They had a one-shot lead over five players while another five were a further shot back at 7 under.

Three shots behind after the first round, the former top-ranked Kaymer stormed into the lead with a 5 under score thanks to his short game. He holed a chip from the fringe on 13 and made several long putts including for birdie on the ninth.

Kaymer had a bogey-free round that featured five birdies.

The understated German felt his round was merely "OK," and believed his score would not be enough to hold up over the last two rounds.

"I played a lot better than the last few rounds I played, especially in Abu Dhabi," Kaymer said. "But I was a little fortunate today, a few putts that dropped, but on those greens that happens sometimes, and I think 9 under is a good position to be in."

Garcia, coming off minor eye surgery last year, said the pristine conditions allowed him to hit a full range of shots including "draws, fades, high, low, things like that."

"I definitely feel like I played a little bit better than yesterday," the Spaniard said. "Hit a good amount of good shots. I gave myself a lot of good chances for birdies. Hit some good putts that didn't go and then made some nice ones, too."

Several big names missed the cut at 1 under, including last year's winner and former British Open champion Paul Lawrie (par) and Europe's new Ryder Cup captain, Paul McGinley (3 over).

- nzherald.co.nz/AP

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