• Qatar Masters, Round Two

Daly on top as Qatar Masters cut to 54 holes

ESPN staff
February 3, 2012
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano plays from the edge of the fairway © PA Photos


Heavy winds played havoc in Doha on Friday, forcing organisers to reduce the Qatar Masters to 54 holes.

Gusts of 45mph meant less than three hours' play was possible, with many players not even making it out onto the course. Play is scheduled to resume at 8:45am on Saturday, when the second round will be completed with the third and final round to be staged on Sunday.

"The course is still on the verge of playable, but there's no point sending the guys out for an hour or two on a marginal course," tournament director David Probyn said.

"The winds will be down a notch tomorrow and decreasing during the day, while the forecast for Sunday is for much calmer conditions."

American world No. 543 John Daly leads the way without picking up a club, profiting from a late tee-time while Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano battled against the elements, bogeying two of his first five holes before play was suspended.

Daly, chasing his first victory for eight years, leads the way on five-under, one shot ahead of Fernandez-Castano, KJ Choi and Jason Day.

Branden Grace, who is flying high after back-to-back wins on the European Tour, coped admirably with the conditions, the South African picking up four shots in his opening six holes to move up the leaderboard to one-under as his rivals toiled.

Lee Westwood started brightly, birdying the 11th, but his hard work was instantly undone with a double bogey at the 12th before dropping another shot at the 14th to slip to one-over, level with Graeme McDowell who was on par for the day.

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