Donaldson goes low in Dubai

Jan 26, 2018, 02:09
Donaldson goes low in Dubai

Starting at the par-five 10th, the 30-year-old Kiwi made six pars on the back-nine, along with birdies at the par-five 13th and 18th holes and his lone bogey of the round at the par-four 12th.

Ryder Cup hero Jamie Donaldson set a blistering pace in the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic as former world No1 Rory McIlroy provided further evidence of his own return to form.

Needing an eagle at the par-four ninth to make a 59 round or a birdie to break the course record, Donaldson found the rough with his approach and then missed his seven-foot putt to save par.

Paul Dunne also had a good day in the desert after his round of 66.

"I don't think, you can read too much into that", said McIlroy, who himself needs to win the elusive green jacket to compete a career Grand Slam.

He then birdied the second before picking up four shots in a row from the fourth.

"Not being able to play to my best previous year was something I was very frustrated with", said McIlroy. "The greens in the morning are ideal and there wasn't much wind for the first 12 or 13 holes so you needed to take advantage of it today and thankfully I was able to do that with a low one". "Just a coincidence. But it's great that Danny (Willettt) and Sergio (Garcia) went on to do something very special a couple of events after winning here". So you needed to take advantage of it.

"I knew Peter Hanson was struggling and, after hitting a few balls on the range this morning, he said he couldn't play", revealed Lawrie, who has his oldest son, Craig, caddying for him. "Thankfully I was able to do that".

He will be faced with some serious competition over the coming days, with another world-class field assembled for the 29 edition of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, led by his playing partners for the first two rounds - defending champion and current Masters Champion Sergio Garcia and former victor Henrik Stenson.

"But from then until now, it is completely different".

"I guess that has changed the way I view this week a little bit because of how I played last week".

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