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Cabrera-Bello vaults into lead at Qatar Masters

Doha, Qatar (SportsNetwork.com) - Rafael Cabrera-Bello fired a 7-under 65 on Thursday to claim the lead after two rounds of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

Cabrera-Bello, who is seeking his third career European Tour victory, finished 36 holes at Doha Golf Club at 13-under-par 131. He also held the second-round lead at last week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship before a third-round 73 derailed his title hopes.

"We start from scratch, play one shot at a time and just go out there and keep enjoying myself," Cabrera-Bello said about his approach this week. "I do my normal routine, and tomorrow is just a new day."

First-round leader George Coetzee carded a 3-under 69 to sit in second place at 11-under 133, while Johan Carlsson (65), Matthew Baldwin (66) and Steve Webster (69) shared third at 10-under.

Thomas Aiken (68), Romain Wattel (68), Mikko Ilonen (67) and Tom Lewis (67) are tied for sixth at 9-under.

Cabrera-Bello parred his first four holes before trading a birdie at the fifth with a bogey at the sixth to remain at 6-under.

He caught fire from there, however, starting with back-to-back gains at the eighth and ninth to make the turn at minus-8.

Another birdie at the 12th pulled him within two strokes of Coetzee's clubhouse lead, and he soon erased that deficit when he capped three straight birdies from the 14th with an 8-foot putt at the 16th to grab sole possession of the lead at 12-under.

The Spaniard added a little cushion heading into the weekend with a 10-foot birdie putt at the last to end at 13-under.

"I'm really happy, really pleased, and everything's going good," said Cabrera- Bello.

Coetzee had earlier started on the back nine and quickly got into red numbers on the day with a birdie at the 10th, but then tripped to a double-bogey 6 at the 11th to fall to 7-under for the tournament.

After parring his next two holes, the South African wrapped birdies at the 14th and 16th around a bogey at the 15th to reach 8-under.

He repeated the series with gains at the second and fourth around a bogey at the third to move to 9-under before rolling in back-to-back birdies at the sixth and seventh to claim the lead at 11-under.

He parred his final two holes to remain there.

Carlsson raced through his round with an eagle, eight birdies and three bogeys, while Baldwin countered a lone bogey with seven birdies. Webster highlighted an up-and-down second round with six birdies and three bogeys to earn his share of third place.

NOTES: Cabrera-Bello's last win came at the 2012 Omega Dubai Desert Classic ... The first round was completed Thursday morning after Wednesday's play was halted due to darkness with just three players remaining on the course ... Brandon Stone recorded a hole-in-one at the 13th ... The cut line was set at 1-under-par 143, with 76 players advancing to the weekend ... Defending champion Chris Wood made the cut right on the number.

01/23 10:11:14 ET


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