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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 April 2019

Omega Dubai Desert Classic: Bryson DeChambeau happy with 'scrappy' opening 66

World No 5's total left him in a tie for the lead along with six other players after the morning starters had finished

Bryson Dechambeau tees off at the 10th hole at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. EPA
Bryson Dechambeau tees off at the 10th hole at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. EPA

Bryson DeChambeau held a share of the lead after the first morning of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, but acknowledged he had been nowhere near his best.

The world No 5 from the United States is the highest ranked player in the field at Emirates Golf Club. He shot a six-under-par 66 on his first appearance at the Classic as a professional, having finished tied-18th on his debut as an amateur three years ago.

His total left him in a tie for the lead along with six other players after the morning starters had finished. The group on six-under included his playing partner Sergio Garcia.

“I didn't feel like I was hitting it my best, anywhere near my best,” DeChambeau said.

“I was able to recover in a couple of situations, made a couple long putts, and then got up and down on six, which was huge.

"I even missed a couple of putts. I just felt like it was a scrappy round, but I got it out and shot 66 today, so happy.”

Thongchai Jaidee had looked set for the outright lead, as he was eight-under playing the last.

He then pitched his third shot into the middle of the water defending the 18th, and had to make do with a 66.

Matthieu Pavon, Kalle Samooja and Scott Hend were the other three players to make 66 among the early starters at the Majlis Course.

Eight players were a shot further back, includingLee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Li Haotong, the defending champion.

Li missed the cut at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA last week, and was pleased to make a better start this time around.

“It's been pretty good, and I’m very happy to see a low score here again, especially compared to last week,” said Li, who beat Rory McIlroy in a final-day showdown 12 months ago.

“The game is definitely getting better each step. The last few shots weren’t good, but except for that everything is pretty good.”

Updated: January 24, 2019 02:49 PM

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