Commercialbank Qatar Masters

Mid-Day Update - Cabrera's 'Perfect' Score Could Be A Sign of Low Rounds to Come

Spanish golfer takes early final-round lead in clubhouse

Rafa Cabrera-Bello - one of five Team Europe golfers in Thursday's football penalty shootout - posted an early eight-under 64 in Saturday's final round to set the clubhouse lead with a nine-under total of 279 at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

The 28-year-old Spaniard started off with a quartet of birdies and then added a hat-trick from nine to 11, before picking up another shot on the par-five 18th to sign off with a bogey-free card at Doha Golf Club.

"I just felt I played perfect golf today. All my birdies were from within nine feet. I hit most of the fairways, almost every green, and I recovered fairly easily to give myself tap-ins," said Cabrera-Bello, who will defend his title in Dubai next week.

"I was really surprised because all my shots were going straight at the flag, which was something I hadn't been doing this week. It could have been a crazy score, but I will take eight-under any day. I'm glad it happened today and I hope I can keep it going next week."

The two-time European Tour winner was surprised to record by far his best round of the week, which followed steady scores of 71, 72 and 72 that masked a mix bag of scores.

"Today was a shocking round really because all week I hadn't been good enough. I'd been hitting a lot of greens, but not close enough to give myself birdie chances," he said.

"On Friday, I saw a little bit of improvement. I had an early double-bogey, then had six birdies in eight holes, but then dropped four shots on the last five holes, which was very disappointing. I didn't let that knock me down and today I played really well from the beginning."

On Thursday afternoon, Cabrera-Bello, compatriot Pablo Larrazabal, Swedish duo Henrik Stenson and Alexander Noren, and in-form Englishman Chris Wood took part in a penalty shootout against youth players from Al Sadd, Qatar's leading football club.

In an energetic and lively competition, the golfers won 8-7 after falling behind 4-3 after the first round of penalties.

"I really enjoyed it. It was lots of fun, playing with the kids and goofing around. It was fun to do something different. I was very lucky with my penalties because I don't really play well," he said.

"Pablo and I represented Spain, but next time maybe we can get Sergio Garcia and Alvaro Quiroz, because I think they are our best players."