Calum Hill's comeback cut short as Ewen Ferguson has Qatar leaders in sights
In his first start on the circuit in four months due to a niggling problem caused by an insect bite, Hill retired after 12 holes in the second round at Doha Golf Club.
According to the official announcement by the DP World Tour, a “recurring wrist injury” was the reason for him being unable to continue.
However, Hill, who had opened with two-under 70, had talked earlier in the week about still not feeling “100 per cent” from the issue caused by the insect bite and that seemed to be confirmed by his management company.
“Unfortunately, Calum has had to withdraw first week back with things still not quite 100 per cent right following injury,” said a post on Twitter from Bounce Sport.
Ferguson, meanwhile, comfortably made the cut for the fourth week in a row as he followed an opening 67 with a 71 to sit in a tie for sixth on six-under, three shots behind Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal.
“I got off to a really bad start,” said the 25-year-old Glaswegian of taking a double-bogey 6 at the 11th - his second hole. “I wasn’t really concentrating well at the start, to be honest.
“I then managed to hold things together, making some birdies towards the turn, which was good. I held myself together and managed to be three-under with a couple to play.”
A bogey-bogey finish wasn’t what he was looking for, but it’s been a really positive response from Ferguson since he squandered a four-shot lead in the final round of the Magical Kenya Open at the start of the month.
“Obviously the bogeys on the last two don’t help, but I feel like my game is in good shape,” he added. “I feel like I am just trying to enjoy my golf and keep putting myself in these positions.
“Along with my coach and my whole team back home, we can work on what we need to do better each time and hopefully one time the door opens and I’ll end up winning.
“But I’m happy to just keep enjoying the process and, if I keep doing what I have been doing, then eventually things will work out in my favour.”
Larrazabal, a recent winner in South Africa, backed up his opening 64 with a 71 in testing conditions to lead by a shot from American Chase Hanna (66), South African Wilco Nienaber (68) and Pole Adrian Meronk (70).
David Drysdale (68) sits on four-under, three ahead of Grant Forrest (67), with Craig Howie (74) also through to the weekend on level-par.
On the Ladies European Tour, Michele Thomson sits four shots off the lead after the second round of the Joburg Ladies Open at Modderfontein Golf Club.
The Aberdonian carded a one-under 72 that was illuminated by an eagle-3 at the eighth as she led three Scots in surviving the cut.
Laura Beveridge (70) and Jane Turner (75) are both on six-over, though, meaning they are 11 shots off the lead, which is jointly-shared by Swede Linn Grant and Spaniard Maria Hernandez.