DOHA, Qatar, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Rafa Cabrera-Bello had five late birdies Thursday in building a two-stroke lead halfway through the European Tour's Commercial Bank Qatar Master.
Cabrera-Bello, even-par through seven holes Thursday, turned in a second-round score of 7-under-par 65 and is at 13-under 131 after 36 holes. First-round leader George Coetzee, overcoming an early double bogey, shot a 3-under 69 in the second round and is in second at 11-under.
Johan Carlsson closed with three consecutive birdies and matched Cabrera-Bello's 65. He is tied with Matthew Baldwin (66 Thursday) and Steve Webster (69) for third at 10-under. Four more players are at 9-under 135 with two rounds to play.
Cabrera-Bello started Thursday's play with four pars and went birdie-bogey at Nos. 5 and 6.
Birdies at the eighth and ninth holes started an impressive run for Cabrera-Bello. He opened his second nine with two pars but then posted six straight 3s on his scorecard -- four on pars 4s and the others on par 3s -- in moving to the front. He pushed his lead to two strokes with an 18th-hole birdie.