Belfast’s Michael Hoey remains in contention at the Qatar Masters in Doha after shooting a second round three-under-par 63.
Hoey, who is five-under-par after two rounds, is four shots behind Ryder Cup teammates Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, with Ricardo Santos and Marcus Fraser part of a four-way tie for the lead.
However, Paul Lawrie, another of Europe’s heroes in Chicago, saw his defence of the title come to a premature end after a four-putt double bogey on the 15th hole. He missed the cut by a single stroke.
Playing partner Garcia shot 66 and Kaymer returned a 67 to be alongside Australian Fraser and Portugal’s Santos on nine under par.
Garcia underwent laser eye surgery to correct astigmatism following the victory over the Americans in September, but finished 2012 with a round of 61 for a three-shot win at the Johor Open in Malaysia.
That came two weeks after Kaymer, the man who sank the putt to retain the Ryder Cup and leapt into the Spaniard’s arms, took the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa by two.
While the German played in Abu Dhabi last week and came joint, sixth this is Garcia’s first appearance of the season.
“It was nice - I definitely felt I played a little bit better than yesterday,” the 32-year-old told Sky Sports after his six birdies.
“Obviously I would have loved to hit a couple of shots better, but I gave myself a lot of chances and I can’t be disappointed. The wind started picking up a bit and it made it tough enough to choose the right clubs.”