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Three-way tie for the lead after second round of Qatar Masters

George Coetzee holds a three-way share of the lead at the Qatar Masters in his bid to atone for his 2013 near-miss.

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The fight for the Qatar Masters title looks set to be a tight one with George Coetzee, Bernd Wiesberger and Branden Grace sharing the clubhouse lead at the halfway point in Doha.

After 36 holes the trio are locked at nine-under par following impressive performances in the second round of the European Tour event in the Qatari capital.

Coetzee finished runner-up to Chris Wood in 2013, losing out by a stroke, but mounted his charge for this year's title with a five-under round of 67 that featured six birdies and just one dropped shot.

Starting at the 10th, Coetzee displayed considerable prowess on the green, holing long putts to birdie on the second and eighth holes.

"I'm playing well. My swing is coming along slightly and I'm putting pretty nicely," Coetzee said. I've just got to wait for my birdies and not force it and kind of play the golf course like I know it."

Wiesberger went one better in a six-under round of 66 in which he birdied five of the first nine holes after also starting at the 10th, which he went close to eagling with a chip in from just off the green.

The Austrian's strong showing encompassed a run of four consecutive gains from 13 to 16 and was only marred by a dropped shot at the seventh, an error he almost immediately atoned four with a birdie at the par-five ninth.

"I feel comfortable," Wiesberger said. "I haven't really expected it going into those two weeks, especially because I played quite poorly last year.

"It gives me great confidence; if I keep on doing what I'm doing, I think I've worked on the right things the last couple of weeks and it shows."

Grace, meanwhile, maintained his consistency by carding a four-under 68 to draw level with Wiesberger and South African compatriot at the top of the leaderboard, his sole drop coming at the 14th.

Argentina's Emiliano Grillo heads a trio of players in tied fourth of eight under, with An Byeong-hun and Marc Warren, who eagled the first in his seven-under 65, moving firmly into contention.

However, there was disappointment for Oliver Fisher, the Englishman falling three shots off the lead after following his fine seven-under start with a one-over 73.

His struggles paled in comparison to those of Charl Schwartzel, who after going three under in his first round, finished six over for the day and three over for the championship to miss the cut.

Schwartzel's chances were ruined when he sent his tee shot on the eighth into a palm tree. The ball was eventually retrieved by a steward but the error resulted in the 2011 Masters winner carding an eight on the par-three hole.

Matteo Manassero will also not contest the final rounds after he ended the competition seven over.

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