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With the lowest round of his career at the Emirates, Hennie Otto finished the opening day of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in a tie for sixth.

Otto delivered a 6-under-par 33-33=66 to sit just two behind leader Bernd Wiesberger. The South African birdied the first and ninth before adding further par breakers at 10, 12, 13 and 15. With more birdie opportunities to come, Otto had designs on the lead but could only par the final three holes. His previous best 18 at the Emirates was a 67 in round two of the 2010 edition. He chose to skip the first two legs of the Gulf Swing but was in fine form prior to that with five successive worldwide top 25s.
Jan 29 - 9:16 AM

Peter Uihlein shot 30 on the front nine before settling for a 7-under-par 30-35=65 and tied second spot after the opening round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

Uihlein seemed set to finish the day looking down on the field after bursting into the lead with eight birdies and no bogeys through 13 holes. But he stalled near the finish, dropped a shot at 17 and ended the round one stroke behind Bernd Wiesberger. The American was irresistible on his opening nine as he circled birdies at each of the first three holes and added two more at seven and eight. There was no let-up as he splashed more red at 10, 11 and 13 but he made four pars and a bogey from the 14th, a stretch that Wiesberger played in 4-under. Today's round marks a change in fortunes for Uihlein at the Emirates as he's missed his two previous cuts in this event.
Jan 29 - 9:02 AM

Bernd Wiesberger has been a stud on the Gulf Swing and enjoys a one-shot lead at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic after an opening 8-under-par 33-31=64.

Building on finishes of tied sixth in Abu Dhabi and third in Qatar, Wiesberger kept his hot-streak going with a bogey-free round which included five straight birdies on the back nine. The Austrian made a sedate start before registering his first par breaker of the day at the sixth and adding another at nine to turn in 33. At that stage it looked as if he would finish day one nestled somewhere in the chasing pack but, after a four at the par-5 10th, he reeled off birdies at 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 to burst into the lead. One of the European Tour's in-form players, expect him to stay a factor all week.
Jan 29 - 8:47 AM

Seve Benson built on his T19 in Qatar by returning a 6-under-par 33-33=66 in the first round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates.

The Englishman was named after the great Seve Ballesteros and his opening nine brought the Spanish legend to mind as he mixed four birdies, two bogeys and three pars. Benson accelerated on the back and marked down birdies at 10, 11, 13 and 18 to register his best round in 11 laps of the Emirates. He was T29 in this event last year while he came into this week boosted by a top 20 in Qatar where he carded a pair of 69s over the final two rounds.
Jan 29 - 8:28 AM

Anders Hansen authored a 6-under-par 34-32=66 on day one of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic to sit inside the top 10.

His fast start won't come as a surprise to those who have kept a close eye on the Dane. He's quietly finished T26 in Abu Dhabi and T19 in Qatar on the first two legs of the Gulf Swing and can also boast course form at the Emirates having finished runner-up in 2011. He went bogey free on Thursday although he had to stay patient. The 44-year-old managed just one par breaker on the front nine but got his eye in on the back and circled birdies at 10, 11, 13, 17 and 18.
Jan 29 - 8:18 AM

Louis Oosthuizen has withdrawn from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, according to TeamISM on Twitter.

The tweet from his management company said, "@Louis57TM has been forced to withdraw from #ODDC with a back problem." Unfortunately, it doesn't come as a surprise to see the South African troubled by injury again. The 2010 Open champion has been plagued by a series of ailments over the last couple of seasons and took a two-month break last year before returning at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland. His most recent start came in mid-December when he finished second at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa.
Jan 29 - 5:42 AM

Martin Kaymer put his Abu Dhabi collapse firmly behind by shooting an opening 5-under-par 34-33=67 at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

This was Kaymer's first round since he blew a 10-shot lead on the last day of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and there was no sign of any hangover. The German had given a masterclass in positive, reasoned thinking in his pre-tournament press conference and backed up his words in a fine display which featured seven birdies and two bogeys. Kaymer was fast out of the blocks with birdies at 10, 12 and 13 before giving one back at 14. He made further par breakers at 17 and 18 and then, on a quieter second nine, circled birdies at five and eight against a bogey at six. His 67 left him two shots behind early clubhouse leaders Nicolas Colsaerts, Andy Sullivan and Lee Westwood.
Jan 29 - 5:00 AM

Maximilian Kieffer cashed in on calm morning conditions to record a 6-under-par 31-35=66 in the first round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates.

The 24-year-old German, who also opened with a 66 on his first start in this event in 2013, was out in 31 after racking up birdies at the fourth, fifth, eighth and ninth. Another pair of par breakers at 13 and 14 lifted him to within a shot of the lead and he had a chance to tie the clubhouse target of 7-under but couldn't birdie the par-5 18th. Kieffer has finished T26 (Abu Dhabi) and T46 (Qatar) in his first two starts of 2015. His closest brush with victory on the European Tour came in his rookie season of 2013 when he lost an amazing nine-hole playoff to Raphaël Jacquelin at the Open de España.
Jan 29 - 4:50 AM

Stephen Gallacher's love affair with the Emirates continued as his bid for a three-peat in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic began with a 6-under-par 31-35=66.

The Scot has finished first, first and second here in the last three years and is on target for a title challenge again after another impressive day in the desert sun. Gallacher started with a birdie at 10 and then added an eagle at the par-5 13th hole. He stalled with a bogey at 16 but came alive on his second nine by circling birdies at two, five, eight and nine. Today's 66 matched the 6-under he shot on day one last year. He opened with a 63 when winning the title for the first time in 2013.
Jan 29 - 4:34 AM

Rory McIlroy made it look easy in a seemingly effortless 6-under-par 32-34=66 on day one of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic

In calm morning conditions at the Emirates, McIlroy gave himself numerous looks at birdie and converted seven of them before a closing bogey denied the world No. 1 a share of the clubhouses lead. Two opening par breakers set the tone and a tap-in birdie at 18 completed a front nine of 32. He hit the gas with further birdies at three, five, six and eight before missing the green at the difficult par-4 ninth hole and failing to get up and down for par. Fast starts in this event are routine for McIlroy. Before today's 66, his last five opening rounds at the Emirates were 63, 66, 65, 68 and 64.
Jan 29 - 4:25 AM

Lee Westwood circled three birdies in his final four holes to post a 7-under-par 31-34=65 and take an early share of the lead at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

Starting with a birdie at the 10th, Westwood added two more at 15 and 17 to turn in 32 and, despite some frustrations with the putter, found four more on his second nine. They came at one, five, eight and nine. Although he kept a bogey off his card, the Englishman will feel he could have gone lower having birdied just one of the four par fives. Westwood is a two-time runner-up in this event (2010 and 2012) and today's opening 65 matched his lowest score at the Emirates.
Jan 29 - 4:08 AM

Andy Sullivan got the better of playing partner Rory McIlroy by carding a 7-under-par 33-32=65 to take a share of the clubhouse lead at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

Sullivan said he could hardly believe the draw after seeing that he'd been paired with McIlroy and Martin Kaymer but rose to the occasion in style. The in-form Englishman, who secured his first European Tour title when winning the South African Open earlier this month, got into the swing with birdies at 10, 13 and 14 before adding an eagle at 18 to turn in 32. Birdies at one and three lifted him to 7-under and he parred in from there, his bogey-free 65 beating McIlroy's 66 and Kaymer's 67. The World No. 81 described the experience as "one of the best days of my life", adding that playing with the two multi-major winners was "an absolute pleasure".
Jan 29 - 3:58 AM

Nicolas Colsaerts blitzed the Emirates Golf Club for a 7-under-par 33-32=65 to post the early target on day one of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

The big-hitting Belgian burst out of the blocks with four birdies in his first six holes and added another at 18 to turn in 32. He circled further red at holes one and three and put a third '2' on his card with another birdie at the seventh. His only blemish of the day came at his final hole, the tough par-4 463-yard ninth. Summing up his round, Colsaerts admitted that he'd been wayward off the tee but described his iron play as "exceptional". The former Ryder Cup star added that he could easily have shot 10-under. Today's round was his low 18 at the Emirates. He fired a 65 on day three in 2001 and opened with a 66 last year.
Jan 29 - 3:45 AM

Kevin Foley will tee it up in the Panama Claro Championship to kick off the 2015 Tour season.

Foley was the winner of the 2013 edition of this tournament and parlayed that into a PGA TOUR card for the 2013-14 season. Unfortunately, he was unable to maintain his status during his rookie year on TOUR and was forced back down to the minor leagues. The 2014 champion of this event was Carlos Ortiz, who went on to win two other times to earn a battlefield promotion.
Jan 28 - 8:59 PM

Bubba Watson enters this week's Waste Management Phoenix Open as one of the favorites to contend for the title.

In 30 rounds at TPC Scottsdale, Watson has never posted a score above par. Two of his last three trips have resulted in top-five finishes, including a T2 last year. He has not played since his 10th-place finish in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, but one has to look no further than his win in the WGC-HSBC Champions to understand his capabilities.
Jan 28 - 8:56 PM

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