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Australia’s Haydn Barron has two-shot halfway lead at Qatar Masters

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Australian golfer Haydn Barron shot a bogey-free 67 and took the lead at the halfway stage of the Qatar Masters on Friday.

Barron, who came through the European tour qualifying school in November, stood two strokes ahead of countryman Harrison Endycott and Rikuya Hoshino of Japan, with first-round leader Zander Lombard and Niklas Norgaard another stroke back.

After an even 36 on the front nine, Barron birdied five holes on the back nine.

“Hit one through the green on 10 and chipped one close for my first birdie and then felt a little bit of momentum,” Barron said.

“It’s a beast of a golf course. You really got to strike it well, got to be in the fairway and sometimes just got to hit it into the middle of the greens and take your 60-70 footers if you are out of position. So it’s definitely a course which requires a bit of wit and some smarts, and luckily (caddie) Matty (Miller) has been good on the bag and we left ourselves some good numbers.”

Rasmus Hojgaard, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 68, was in a tie for sixth, four strokes behind Barron, after producing a tournament-low 66 that featured an eagle and five birdies.

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AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf