sport

Saddier has clubhouse lead

France's Adrien Saddier, playing just his fourth European Tour event as a professional, surged into contention for the Qatar Masters on Friday.

Saddier made the halfway cut at Doha Golf Club with two shots to spare, rounds of 70 and 71 leaving him 10 shots behind halfway leader Rafael Cabrera-Bello.

However, a brilliant third round of 64 saw the 21-year-old qualifying school graduate set the clubhouse target of 11 under par, a target which was looking increasingly tough to beat as the wind picked up for the later starters.

Saddier, who was joint sixth in the Nelson Mandela Championship in December, birdied the par-five first before carding seven threes in succession, five of them birdies and two pars.

That helped take him to the turn in 30 and further birdies on the 10th and 12th followed before a run of six pars completed a flawless round.

"It was a great round, I played very well," Saddier said.

"I played the first two rounds with Steve Webster (who shot 65 and 69) and in the long game we were pretty similar but he putted better, so I thought if I can make some good putts I can do the same as him.

"Coming from the qualifying school I need some good results so it's great to shoot 64 today. I finished 2013 very well and I am starting 2014 well too. I only turned professional in July so my only aim this year is to keep my card."

Cabrera-Bello, who carded opening rounds of 66 and 65 playing alongside Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, briefly extended his lead to three shots with a birdie on the second but then did well to scramble a bogey on the sixth after dumping his third shot into a greenside bunker.

At 13 under par he held a one-shot lead over Finland's Mikko Ilonen, the former British amateur champion picking up three birdies in his first 11 holes.

Saddier was safely in the clubhouse on 11 under and was joined on that score by Sweden's Johan Carlsson, while two-time Qatar winner Paul Lawrie was among those a shot further back after three birdies in four holes around the turn.

Some two and a half hours after he had finished, Saddier was finally joined in the clubhouse lead by Thorbjorn Olesen, the Dane completing a 68 for his third sub-70 round of the week.

A burst of three birdies in five holes from the 11th had taken Webster into outright second place on 12 under, just one behind Cabrera-Bello after a poor chip on the 13th cost the Spaniard a bogey.