DOHA, Qatar — Former British Open champion Paul Lawrie recovered from a penalty for dropping his ball on a marker to shoot 5-under 67 Saturday and take a one-shot lead over Nicolas Colsaerts into the final round of the Qatar Masters.
Lawrie took advantage of calmer conditions at Doha Golf Course to make six birdies for an 8-under total of 136 after two rounds. The 43-year-old Scotsman birdied the 16th to move into a tie with Colsaerts and then added another on 18 to take the outright lead.
The tournament has been disrupted by wind all week, and organizers called off Friday’s play and shortened the event to three rounds. Dozens of players had to stop after gusts of up to 35 mph moved balls and tossed signs.
“I played very good again, hitting it beautifully tee to green,” said Lawrie, who won the Andalucian Open in 2011 for his first win in nine years. “Anytime you play as solidly as that and hit a few putts in there it’s a fair chance you are going to play well.”
Lawrie could have had an even bigger lead, had he not accidentally dropped his ball on his marker at the 10th green. Since it was unclear whether the ball moved, Lawrie was forced to take a one-shot penalty. The mistake was similar to the one by Ian Poulter during a two-way playoff at the Dubai World Championship in 2010, when his penalty essentially gave the title to Robert Karlsson of Sweden.
Peter Hanson, of Sweden (69), and Ricardo Gonzalez, of Argentina (67), were two shots off the lead. James Kingston, of South Africa (69), and Simon Kahn, of England (68), – who eagled his final hole – are three shots back with another 10 players, including Jason Day (72), Sergio Garcia (68) and John Daly (73), a further shot back. Third-ranked Lee Westwood (70) and fourth-ranked Martin Kaymer (70) are at 3-under.
AUSTRALIAN LADIES MASTERS: In Gold Coast, Australia, U.S. Open champion So Yeon Ryu shot 3-under-par 69 to take a three-stroke lead into the final round.
Ryu, who shot 11-under 61 in the second round, had a 54-hole total of 20-under 196 at Royal Pines.
Christel Boeljon, of the Netherlands, shot 68 and was alone in second, followed by Kim Ha-neul, of South Korea, who shot 64, and Diana Luna, of Italy, who carded 66.