Dubai Desert Classic: How the top stars fared on day one at Emirates Golf Club

All the leading names broke par in the first round on Thursday although Rory McIlroy shot his worst opening lap at this event since 2006.

Denmark's JB Hansen ended the first day of the 2022 Dubai Desert Classic in top spot after an excellent afternoon 7-under 65.

But he has plenty of golf's elite in his rearview mirror.

Here, we look at how the 10 leading contenders fared in round one:

Sergio Garcia: 5-under 67 - T3

A pleasing bogey-free round for Sergio on his first outing of 2022. Starting at the 10th, Garcia turned in 3-under 34 thanks to birdies at 12, 13 and 17. He made further gains at 2 and 5 but only managed to birdie one of the course's four par 5s.

Sergio said: "It was good. I think obviously got a little bit more challenging the last couple of holes with left-to-right wind into on those two strong holes. Made a couple nice par saves at the right times, and kept it in play for the most part. Hit a good amount of greens and when I didn't, my chipping and putting was there to help me."

Tommy Fleetwood: 5-under 67 - T3

A strong start from the Englishman and this was his second lowest opening lap in 11 starts here (65 in 2013 his best R1). Fleetwood roared out of the traps with red circles at 2, 4, 5 and 8 but then hit a bump in the road with bogey-6 at the 13th. He responded with birdies at 14 and 18.

Fleetwood opened with a 68 in Abu Dhabi last week before falling to T46 after rounds of 76-74-71 so he'll hope to cash in much better on this fast start.

Collin Morikawa: 4-under 68 - T9

Those in the UK waking up early on Thursday would have seen Open champ Morikawa on top of the leaderboard on 7-under after a blistering start: he carded seven birdies in his first 11 holes.

However, a clumsy finish saw the American drop shots in three of his final four holes. Still, this was much more like it after his T62 in Abu Dhabi last week when he failed to break 71 in any round.

Morikawa said: "It was a disappointing finish but I've been working Monday through Wednesday, even into yesterday late after the Pro-Am trying to figure things out. When you are thinking about so much, you always have to remember to go play golf.

"I'm happy with 4-under. Not thrilled, but to see just some things that I've been working on just show up on the course was really nice."

Viktor Hovland: 4-under 68 - T9

In contrast to Morikawa, Hovland was slow out of the blocks with one birdie against one bogey on the front nine.

But a superb approach set up an eagle from just 7ft 2in at the 10th and he added birdies at 13 and 15 to end day one inside the top 10. This was another strong display following his top-four finish in Abu Dhabi last week.

Hovland said: "The front nine was kind of a patient test and obviously got off to a great start on the back nine and was able to hit some shots and roll in some putts.

"It was a good day but I wish I could have taken advantage of some of the easier holes a little bit better."

Tyrrell Hatton: 3-under 69 - T15

Hatton opened with 66 when defending in Abu Dhabi last week and went on to finish tied sixth.

He's going nicely again here after mixing six birdies (10, 13, 16, 2 & 5) against two bogeys (15 & 1) after teeing off on the back nine.

Adam Scott: 3-under 69 - T15

The Aussie is playing here for the first time since 2002 but warmed up for Dubai with a solid T10 in Abu Dhabi last week.

Scott's round was frustrating for a while as he traded birdies with bogeys for the first 12 holes, picking up shots at 2, 8 and 10 but giving them back each time with squares at 6, 9 and 12.

But birdies on the par 5s at 13 and 18 along with another gain at 14 meant he broke 70 for the first time in three visits here.

Paul Casey: 2-under 70 - T27

The defending champion opened with a 67 when winning last year and today's lap meant he's now shot no worse than 70 in every first round here in nine appearances.

He'll regret that it wasn't at least a couple of shots better though after he got to 4-under with birdies at 2, 10, 13 and 15 only to take bogey at 16 and six swishes on the par-5 closer.

Thomas Pieters: 2-under 70 - T27

Last week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship winner, the Belgian wasn't as sharp in round one here.

Pieters posted a 65 on day one in Abu Dhabi, a score he also carded in the first round of this event in 2018 before dropping back to finish T32.

He birdied the first but could only find three more (10, 11 and 18) red numbers. Shots went on the par 4s at 5 and 12.

Rory McIlroy: 1-under 71 - T46

A day when Rory rather missed the boat. He's been the first-round leader here four times and today was the first time in 12 appearances that he's failed to shoot in the 60s on the opening lap.

Starting on the back nine, it looked business as usual as he hit 3-under after five holes after gains at 11, 13 and 14 but a bogey-six at 18 unsettled him and he played the second nine in one-over after wiping out a circle at 1 with squares at 2 and 7.

McIlroy said: "Started well. I thought I hit the ball nicely most of the day. There was a couple of loose shots in there. I got away with a tee shot on 17.

"And then yeah, just the last few holes, I feel like I bogeyed three of the easiest holes on the course, 18, 2 and 7. A couple of bad decisions or mental mistakes and then maybe made a couple of bad swings in there as well.

"Overall the course is tricky, firm greens. Thought I did most things pretty well but just need to tidy a few things up which is where I'm going right now."

Shane Lowry: 1-under 71 - T46

A frustrating finish for the Irishman who had a winning chance in Abu Dhabi last week before blowing his victory hopes with a closing 77.

Lowry was bowling along nicely after birdies at 10, 14 and 4 but bogeys at his final two holes (8 & 9) rather took the gloss off the day.

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