Larrazábal holds 1-shot lead in Qatar despite tough start

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Pablo Larrazábal had an eagle and three birdies on the back nine to erase a bad start Friday at the Qatar Masters, allowing the Spaniard to take a one-shot lead into the weekend.

The 122nd-ranked Larrazábal, seeking his seventh DP World Tour title, shot 1-under 71 at Doha Golf Club for a 36-hole total of 9-under 135.

“It was a tough start. Par-bogey-bogey was not in the plans,” said Larrazábal, who added double bogey on the par-5 ninth to complete a front-nine 40 that left him four strokes back after starting the day two shots in front.

He bounced back with an eagle at the par-5 10th before three more birdies, including the 18th.

“Mentally, you have to recover. You have to believe in the shots you plan … that’s what I did and it paid off,” Larrazábal said.

Chase Hanna (66), Wilco Nienaber (68) and Adrian Meronk (70) were all one shot behind in a tie for second.

Hanna felt right at home in the windy conditions.

“Growing up in Kansas, you get a lot of wind,” the 27-year-old American said. “I certainly like the wind. I feel like my game suits the wind nicely. … My iron shots were good especially on the par 3s, just kept it pretty stress free.”

Romain Langasque (71) is two strokes off the lead. Marcus Kinhult of Sweden had the lowest round with 65.

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