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Rai's big finish ensures three-way tie in Qatar

In a packed Qatar Masters leaderboard, Aaron Rai, Eddie Pepperell and Gregory Havret edged in front after the first round.

NEWS
22 Feb 2018, 21:52 IST
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aaronrai - Cropped
Aaron Rai in action in Qatar

Aaron Rai made an eagle at the last as he, Eddie Pepperell and Gregory Havret made the most of calm morning conditions to take a three-way share of the lead at the Qatar Masters.

The winds synonymous with the Doha Golf Club did pick up slightly in the afternoon, but the otherwise sedate weather made for favourable early scoring, with the leading trio signing for rounds of 65 to sit at seven under.

Rai equalled his best score since moving onto the European Tour this season, the Englishman having made five birdies through 16 before finishing with a three at the par-five 18th.

"I drove it well and then gave myself a lot of opportunities with the approach play, didn't miss too many greens," said Rai. 

"Gameplan-wise, you have to be doing something right and playing some good golf to shoot a 65 so I'll just continue in the same vein and try not to change too much."

Havret also enjoyed a bogey-free round, a run of five birdies in a six-hole stretch between the eighth and 13th bumping him up the leaderboard.

Pepperell, starting at the 10th, was four under through his opening nine holes having seen five gains undone slightly by one bogey, and he picked up a further three shots on the way home.

Edoardo Molinari and Oliver Fisher are among a cluster of four players one shot off the pace, while a group of seven are two shots back in a congested leaderboard.

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