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Twice winner Lawrie takes the lead in Qatar

Twice winner Lawrie takes the lead in Qatar

Paul Lawrie of Scotland watches his tee shot on the second hole during the final round of the British Open golf championship on the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, July 20, 2015. REUTERS/Phil Noble

(Reuters) – Former British Open champion Paul Lawrie moved into pole position to clinch a record third Qatar Open title after a second-round 66 put him one shot clear at the halfway stage on Thursday.

Lawrie, who lifted the trophy in 1999 and 2012, moved to 11 under par after sinking seven birdies on his way to the joint lowest score of the day.

“It’s just nice to go back to places that you know you can play well on and you have done in the past,” Lawrie said on the European Tour website.

“It all helps. You see your name on the board a couple of times, you walk past it every day at the range. It’s got to help that you know you’ve won this tournament twice before.”

Former Ryder Cup player Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium is a shot adrift, while England’s Andrew Johnston, Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello and France’s Gregory Bourdy are a further shot off the pace.

(Reporting by Toby Davis; editing by Alan Baldwin)

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