In his 498th European Tour event, David Drysdale is in the hunt to achieve a maiden win on the circuit heading into the closing round of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

The 44-year-old posted a neatly-engineered seven-under 64 to move into a share of second place on 13 under, just a stroke behind Spanish leader Jorge Campillo.

As one of the hardy perennials of the European Tour, Drysdale has recorded three second-place finishes but has never taken the final step into the winners’ enclosure.

A round of poise and purpose bolstered his assault yesterday and he put the tin lid on a fine display with a terrific approach into the 17th which spawned a tap-in birdie.

Drysdale, whose wife Vicky has been his caddie for the past two seasons, turns 45 this month while his better half celebrated her own birthday last week. The Scottish double act are now aiming for a silver lining.

“We’re getting older together but we’re enjoying each other’s company on the golf course,” said Drysdale, who is on the same total as Denmark’s Jeff Winther.

“The first couple of seasons worked very well. I haven’t played the best the last 14 months or so, I’ve been grinding away, but we haven’t fallen out yet.

“I had a good couple of days with my coach, Jamie Gough [brother of former Rangers and Scotland defender Richard], on Tuesday and Wednesday and I felt really good on Thursday shooting that four under. I played very solid from tee to green.

“It’s not been quite as good since then and today was good for maybe 12 of the 18 holes. I was pretty aggressive off the tee [at the 17th], I hit driver, most guys would hit three wood off there. Got it down on a good number, 160 into the breeze, and it was perfect – four inches short. That’s the sort of birdie putt you like.

“I started quite well, I was four under through six holes and I just holed a couple of nice putts. In the middle of the round I struggled a wee bit and hit a lot to 40 or 50 feet but managed to two putt them and move on and capitalise on my good shots.”