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Aussies Endycott and Barron shine in Qatar Masters

3 minute read

Haydn Barron and Harrison Endycott have made impressive starts to their bid to win the Qatar Masters on the European tour.

HARRISON ENDYCOTT. Picture: Raj Mehta/Getty Images

Australians Haydn Barron and Harrison Endycott reckon they don't get too much chance to play the on the European tour - but they look keen to make the best of their rare opportunities as they perched near the top of the leaderboard at the Qatar Masters.

The unsung world No.806 Barron found himself in unfamiliar nosebleed territory as he ended up tied for third place after the opening round, just a shot off the lead following a fine four-under 68 at the Doha Golf Club on Thursday (Friday AEDT).

And Endycott was only a shot further back after a 69 that continued his fine form on his Middle East jaunt after challenging at the previous week's Bahrain Championship.

The Aussie pair are chasing the joint-leaders, South Africa's Zander Lombard and China's Ashun Wu, who both recorded five-under 67s.

West Australian Barron, who had also signalled some decent form in the final round in Bahrain, finished with a flourish on Thursday, recording birdies at each of the last three holes.

But Endycott, the Q-School winner on the PGA Tour, may have had an even more dramatic home stretch, blasting his 294-yard tee shot at the par-four 14th on to the green, from where he holed a 31-footer for eagle.

The 27-year-old Sydneysider Endycott says he's relishing the chance to play around the world and is taking inspiration from Dylan Frittelli, the South African who had won in Bahrain.

He's hoping to gain full playing privileges on the European circuit, like Frittelli, and is splitting his time between the PGA and European tours in 2024.

"Start of the year, you're trying to neutralise out and build all the foundations. I feel like my game's in a good spot, it's not far away," said Endycott.

"It's great to be able to play over here. I haven't had a load of chances to play on this tour, but every time I have, I've really enjoyed it. I'd like to play a bit of both on my schedule this year.

"The way golf is, the States does get to some players, especially me, a bit repetitive.

"To mix it up with another schedule - this is a global game - and to be able to play around the world, it's all I dreamed of as a kid.

"Now I'm in that position where I get to play all around the world, see amazing places and play in all new cultures.

"I'm really excited for this year, I'm going to see all new places that I haven't seen before and go back to some places that I have seen. That's what's really exciting about 2024."

Barron shares joint-third place with Niklas Norgaard, Jaco Prinsloo and Clement Sordet, while Endycott is among a seven-strong group on three under.

The other Aussies didn't fare quite so well, Jason Scrivener shooting a two-over 74 and David Micheluzzi a three-over 75.

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