European Tour

European Tour: Sterne takes early lead in Dubai

Round one report 

Richard Sterne produced an impressive eight under par round of 64 to open up a one-shot lead after day one of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

The South African, a six-time winner on the European Tour, birdied his final hole of the day at Emirates Golf Club to jump ahead of American Kurt Kitayama on seven under par, with Major Champion Sergio Garcia and fellow countryman Justin Harding a further shot back.

Sterne: “It’s always good to get off to a good start. It helps you for the rest of the week, I think. I’ve come close here before so it would be nice to have a chance going into the weekend. I haven’t had many chances going into weekends for a long time, so it would be nice to get through tomorrow and place myself well and see how the weekend goes.

“Last week gave me a lot of confidence. I struggled the first few days, and played really nicely on Saturday. But finishing 25th there has given me confidence. I’m just trying to watch my back, so I haven’t put much preparation into this week. Just got nine holes in Tuesday yesterday and I didn’t even come to the course yesterday. So today, I was pretty happy with the performance.”

Garcia won this event in 2017 before going on to claim his maiden Major Championship at the Masters Tournament later that year and the Spaniard enjoyed his return to the United Arab Emirates, recording a flawless round of 66.

Englishman Paul Casey made a fast start before settling for a five under 67 despite leading for most of Thursday morning, and was later joined at that mark by Spaniard Adrian Otaegui, Belgian Thomas Detry and Scot Robert MacIntyre.

(Text: European Tour Press Release)

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