Omega Dubai Desert Classic R1

Sterne takes early lead in Dubai

January 28 – 31
Emirates Golf Club, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
$3,250,000
Round 2, Round 3, Round 4


Omega Dubai Desert Classic 2021 R1 - Sterne takes early lead in Dubai
(Getty Images)


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.


“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.

“I had a wrist operation in March last year, so I was out basically for the whole of last year. Played the last few events, which I played pretty decently considering I had not played for so long.



“And then 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.”

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.


“I haven’t played this well in a while, so nice to get a round like this,” said Kitayama. “Just played as many games as I could back home and tried to feel pressure under the gun like in tournament conditions. Pretty much how I tried to stayed sharp.

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“(The eagle on 17 was) a little into the wind. Hit it just short of the green in the fairway. It was just pretty standard chip up into the grain and I just holed it. It was nice.”

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.

“I felt comfortable out there for sure. I felt like I hit a lot of good shots. Conditions obviously were good, but they were tricky.

“I think that it’s a big year, and hopefully I can be in good shape because I want to be a part of a lot of things this year.

“I still love to compete. I love to practice, try to get better and that’s what I try to do all the time. So it’s nice to see rounds like one today, because it shows that I’m putting some good work in there and just got to keep doing more of that.”


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.

“This is a difficult golf course,” said Casey. “The last time I played here was seven years ago. It was difficult then. It’s grown some teeth in the last few years, some new tees. Very happy. It’s difficult to read the greens and make putts around here. They have always been tricky, a bit of grain in there. Yeah, very happy with that start.

“I feel lucky because golf courses are open in Arizona. Even various other places across the state line, they are not. I feel for everybody in the UK where golf courses are closed right now.

“To be honest I took advantage of it. I spent a lot of time playing. It’s maybe something I’ve not done as much of over the last few years. We are very lucky that we’re playing golf and I feel that sort of fortunate place that we’re in to play, I feel that I’m going to take advantage of that, while I’m out here, make hay.”




Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
1
Richard Sterne
-8
64
2
Kurt Kitayama
-7
65
T3
Justin Harding
-6
66
T3
Sergio Garcia
-6
66
T5
Paul Casey
-5
67
T5
Adrian Otaegui
-5
67
T5
Thomas Detry
-5
67
T5
Robert MacIntyre
-5
67
T9
Martin Kaymer
-4
68
T9
Wade Ormsby
-4
68
T9
Kalle Samooja
-4
68
T9
Romain Langasque
-4
68
T9
Adri Arnaus
-4
68
T9
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
-4
68
T9
Ross Fisher
-4
68
T9
Tommy Fleetwood
-4
68
T17
Lee Westwood
-3
69
T17
Scott Hend
-3
69
T17
Jeff Winther
-3
69
T20
Mikko Korhonen
-2
70
T20
Marcus Kinhult
-2
70
T20
Pablo Larrazabal
-2
70
T20
Alexander Levy
-2
70
T20
Shane Lowry
-2
70
T20
Matthew Fitzpatrick
-2
70
T20
Jayden Schaper
-2
70
T20
Joakim Lagergren
-2
70
T20
Laurie Canter
-2
70
T20
Brandon Stone
-2
70
T20
Antoine Rozner
-2
70
T20
Matthias Schwab
-2
70
T20
Andy Sullivan
-2
70
T20
Nicolas Colsaerts
-2
70
T20
Scott Jamieson
-2
70
T20
Takumi Kanaya
-2
70
T20
Shubhankar Sharma
-2
70
T37
Ignacio Elvira Mijares
-1
71
T37
Fabrizio Zanotti
-1
71
T37
Padraig Harrington
-1
71
T37
Sami Valimaki
-1
71
T37
Collin Morikawa
-1
71
T37
Justin Rose
-1
71
T37
Sebastian Heisele
-1
71
T37
Guido Migliozzi
-1
71
T37
Alexander Björk
-1
71
T37
Oliver Fisher
-1
71
T37
Ashun Wu
-1
71
T37
Jordan Smith
-1
71
T37
Sean Crocker
-1
71
T37
Matt Wallace
-1
71
T37
Thomas Pieters
-1
71
T37
Chris Wood
-1
71
T37
Masahiro Kawamura
-1
71
T37
Richie Ramsay
-1
71
T55
Dean Burmester
E
72
T55
Julian Suri
E
72
T55
David Horsey
E
72
T55
Victor Dubuisson
E
72
T55
Justin Walters
E
72
T55
Victor Perez
E
72
T55
David Lipsky
E
72
T55
Aaron Rai
E
72
T55
Robert Karlsson
E
72
T55
Julien Guerrier
E
72
T55
Connor Syme
E
72
T55
Benjamin Hebert
E
72
T55
Tapio Pulkkanen
E
72
T55
Kristoffer Broberg
E
72
T55
Steven Brown
E
72
T55
Ashley Chesters
E
72
T55
David Law
E
72
T55
George Coetzee
E
72
T55
David Langley
E
72
T55
Joachim B. Hansen
E
72
T55
Rasmus Højgaard
E
72
T55
Søren Kjeldsen
E
72
T55
Haotong Li
E
72
T78
Bernd Wiesberger
1
73
T78
David Howell
1
73
T78
David Drysdale
1
73
T78
Chris Paisley
1
73
T78
Rafa Cabrera Bello
1
73
T78
Ryan Fox
1
73
T78
Eduard Rousaud (a)
1
73
T78
Gavin Kyle Green
1
73
T78
Ernie Els
1
73
T78
Andrew Johnston
1
73
T78
Zander Lombard
1
73
T89
Eddie Pepperell
2
74
T89
Wilco Nienaber
2
74
T89
Henrik Stenson
2
74
T89
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
2
74
T89
Miguel Angel Jiménez
2
74
T89
Danny Willett
2
74
T89
Lorenzo Gagli
2
74
T89
Matthew Southgate
2
74
T89
Sebastian Soderberg
2
74
T89
Renato Paratore
2
74
T89
Grant Forrest
2
74
T89
Lucas Herbert
2
74
T89
John Catlin
2
74
T89
Joost Luiten
2
74
T89
Thomas Bjørn
2
74
T89
Stephen Gallacher
2
74
T105
David Hague
3
75
T105
Callum Shinkwin
3
75
T105
Jason Scrivener
3
75
T105
James Morrison
3
75
T105
Nino Bertasio
3
75
T105
Alvaro Quiros
3
75
T105
Matthieu Pavon
3
75
T105
Paul Waring
3
75
T105
Robert Rock
3
75
T105
Min Woo Lee
3
75
T115
Edoardo Molinari
4
76
T115
Graeme McDowell
4
76
T115
Maximilian Kieffer
4
76
T115
Oliver Wilson
4
76
T115
Haydn Porteous
4
76
T115
Shergo Al Kurdi
4
76
T115
Ian Poulter
4
76
T115
Tyrrell Hatton
4
76
T115
Ross McGowan
4
76
T115
Garrick Higgo
4
76
T125
Jorge Campillo
5
77
T125
Gaganjeet Bhullar
5
77
T127
Richard McEvoy
6
78
T127
Michael Lorenzo-Vera
6
78
T129
Raphael Jacquelin
7
79
T129
Curtis Knipes (a)
7
79
131
Karim El Hali
10
82
WD
Andrea Pavan
5
22
Thorbjørn Olesen
E
WD
Andrea Pavan
5