Westwood Leads In Dubai !
Lee Westwood, 43, shot an opening round of 66 that included 7 birdies to take the first-round lead at the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, a shot clear of Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts and Frenchman Julien Quesne, who both shot 67.
Westwood birdied 2, 7 and 8 hitting the turn in 33, birdied 10, bogeyed 12, then birdied 13 and 17 to finish at -6. Westwood said: “A 66 is a good round of golf. It didn’t seem that easy out there. It all came together today.”
Westwood won this event in 2009, has nine top three finishes in Majors, the most recent being tied for second at this year’s Masters, and positioning him 12th in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex and a win this week will move him up into the top five.
Quesne hit the turn in 35 and, as he stood on the 14th tee, he was in the pack before a fiery burst of scoring with birdies on 14, 15, 17 and 18. There was no such drama for Colsaerts with birdies on 6, 7, 10 and 15 putting him in the frame before a great approach to 18 saw him make birdie and take the lead before Westwood made his move.
Joost Luiten from Holland, Francesco Molinari from Italy and Sergio Garcia from Spain all shot 68 and were at -4. Louis Oosthuizen, Matthew Fitpatrick, Marcus Fraser, Alexander Levy, Jaco Van Zyl and Kiradech Aphibarnrat all shot 69 and were at -3.
Bernd Wiesberger shot a round of 70 to be at -2 whilst Martin Kaymer shot 71 to be at -1.
Alex Noren still has a chance of winning the Race to Dubai and he finished at -1, although defending champion Rory McIlroy shot 75 to finish at +3 and the only time McIlroy has been over par on the Earth course, and McIlroy has never won an event where he was over par in the first round. Henrik Stenson is still in a position to pick up his second Race to Dubai title after shooting 72.
There were 32 players under par on the first day of play, with 208 birdies and 2 eagles scored, great scoring by any standards.