Fernandez-Castano takes lead in Doha

Feb. 2, 2012 at 10:49 AM
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DOHA, Qatar, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano closed with three consecutive birdies Thursday in taking the first-round lead at the European Tour's Qatar Masters.

Fernandez-Castano had nine birdies and three bogeys in shooting 6-under-par 72. He had a one-stroke lead over John Daly, who shot a bogey-free 67.

K.J. Choi and Jason Day each shot 4-under 68 and are tied for third with five other players turning in 3-under 69s.

Play was hampered by heavy winds, with desert sands limiting visibility.

Fernandez-Castano opened with a birdie at the Doha Golf Club but slipped back to even with a bogey at No. 4. He quickly answered with a birdie at the fifth hole and jumped to 3-under by closing the front nine with back-to-back birdies.

He went bogey-birdie at Nos. 10 and 11 before another bogey at 13. Fernandez-Castano closed in the flurry, however, getting a birdie at 14 and then three straight birdies at 16-18 for the lead.

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