15-way tie at top in Doha

Former US Open champion Michael Campbell took more steps on the comeback trail today by moving into a share of the early lead at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in Doha.

Only six months ago the 43-year-old New Zealander was not even in the world’s top 900 and had made just two halfway cuts in the best part of a year.

Then came a third-place finish at the Portugal Masters, an eighth in Hong Kong and three other top-20 finishes – the latest of them in Abu Dhabi last week.

In the second leg of the European Tour’s Middle East swing Campbell birdied the 11th and long 18th to turn in 34 and at two under par was part of an amazing 15-way tie for the lead.

Former winners Ernie Els and Henrik Stenson – another fighting his way back up the rankings after a slump – stood on the same mark, as did Scot Peter Whiteford and English trio Chris Wood, Anthony Wall and Gary Lockerbie.

Sergio Garcia was one behind after seven holes in his first start of the year, while defending champion Paul Lawrie, playing with the Spaniard and Open champion Els, was level par.

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