DUBAI: Jamie Donaldson led the Dubai Desert Basic with a primary spherical 10-underneath par sixty two on Thursday with two-time winner Rory McIlroy three photographs off the Welsh chief.
With hardly any wind at Emirates Golf Membership, a slew of low scores have been produced, none higher than the forty two-yr-previous Donaldson who has a one-shot lead over English duo David Horsey and Anthony Wall. One other Englishman, Tyrrell Hatton, was fourth at sixty four, with the event’s headline act McIlroy amongst a gaggle of 5 gamers tied fifth at seven-beneath par sixty five.
Spain’s world quantity eight Sergio Garcia, the defending champion, opened with a 5-beneath par sixty seven. Final week’s champion in Abu Dhabi and reigning European primary Tommy Fleetwood made sixty nine whereas world No10 Henrik Stenson submitted a card of 70 after a late double bogey.
Donaldson, who gained in Abu Dhabi in 2013 and represented Europe within the 2014 Ryder Cup in Gleneagles as then world No23, has endured a disappointing couple of years which noticed his world rating slip to 292. After ranging from the tenth tee, Donaldson was bogey-free for his spherical with an eagle on the par-5 thirteenth and moved to eleven-beneath par after 4 birdies in a row from the fourth gap onwards. With two holes to play, he had a shot at Ernie Els’s 24-yr-previous course report of sixty one, and extra importantly, an opportunity to shoot the primary-ever fifty nine on the European Tour.
He virtually holed his chip from the sting of the inexperienced for a birdie earlier than settling for par on the eighth gap, after which closed with a bogey on the ninth after hitting his drive into the green bunker. “I didn’t know the course report. I used to be solely considering of fifty nine, actually. In all probability shouldn’t actually be considering that. Ought to have been concentrating on hitting fairways and hitting greens, giving myself possibilities,” stated Donaldson, whose final of three wins on the European Tour got here on the Czech Masters in August 2014.
“I don’t know, I fancied it. Wasn’t to be. I knew I needed to chip that one in on the eighth. It was shut. Didn’t go in and that was it then.“fifty nine is just a bonus, isn’t it? It’s icing on the cake. Everyone needs to shoot fifty nine, however it’s one thing that’s provided that you’re enjoying actually good golf, and that’s gone now. Now, it’s only a case of extra of the identical shifting on.”
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