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Brett Rumford takes over the lead with a 66

Brett Rumford moved into contention for a fourth European Tour victory after grabbing a one-stroke lead in the second round of the Qatar Masters.

The 32-year-old birdied six of his opening 10 holes in calm conditions to card six-under-par 66, finishing with nine-under-par 135.

Britain’s Bradley Dredge fired a 69 to move into second on eight under. Fellow Britons Oliver Wilson (70) and Lee Westwood (69) shared third place on seven under, while Swedish duo Niclas Fasth (68) and Robert Karlsson (70) were tied fifth on six under.

Rumford, who is ranked a lowly 360th, was surprised to end the day on top of the leaderboard.

“I haven’t really thought about leading at all,” he said.

“I was just trying to do my own thing out there today. I didn’t look at any scoreboard. I made some nice up-and-downs, and it was my front nine that was the key as I birdied five of the nine holes including the last two.

“I then played steady coming home so I am more than pleased to be leading by one.”

After capturing his third European Tour title in 2007 Rumford headed to the U.S Tour Qualifying School where he was successful in gaining his Tour card.

However, the move backfired as he forfeited his Tour membership after playing all four rounds in just nine of 25 events.

Although Rumford decided to regain his confidence by returning to Europe, where he opened the 2009 season by making the cut 12 times in succession, he did regret abandoning his American adventure.

“Looking back on it, I would have actually gone back to the Qualifying School in the States and given it another crack,” Rumford said.

“The first year over there in 2008… was a pretty tough goal to try and maintain a Tour card. “I thought I would excel. A few players have done that but it’s very difficult.”

Dredge, looking for his first Tour victory since 2006, added a three under par 69 to his earlier score of 67.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been in this position, because I’ve had two poor years,” he said. “I’ve been working hard to try and get myself back up there. I’m pleased with a 69.”

American Kenny Perry started his round in rousing style when he eagled his first hole on route to a level par 72 to remain at two over par.

England’s Ian Poulter missed the two over par cut-off mark four days after finishing runner-up in Abu Dhabi. Former British Open champion and new European Tour member Todd Hamilton and 2005 U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell failed to make it to the weekend.

 

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