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Rory opens with 63 at Dubai Desert Classic

First Round — European Tour — Omega Dubai Desert Classic — Emirates Golf Course — Dubai, United Arab Emirates —

Rory McIlroy looked like the No. 1 player in the world in the first round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic Thursday in United Arab Emirates.

McIlroy fired a bogey-free 9-under-63 to take a two-shot lead after 18 holes. His driver looked like a weapon for him again hitting 12 of 14 Fairways in Regulation. The World No. 6 showed why he’s the top betting pick this week at Ladbrokes.com with his efforts. But, he has 54 holes to go.

Rory hit 15 Greens in Regulation and needed just 27 putts on his round playing alongside Tiger Woods and defending champion Stephen Gallacher, who is T-3 after a 6-under round.

Woods, the top-ranked player in the world, shot 4-under-68. He is T-10 alongside Thongchai Jaidee and a host of others.

Henrik Stenson, the reigning Race to Dubai champion, is T-35 as is Fred Couples, who made the trip from America.

Other Golf News: 

  • The PGA Tour of China announced a six-tournament schedule to begin in April.
  • Pat Perez, who contended last week at the PGA Tour’s Humana Challenge, is off to a hot start in the Arizona desert at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Perez leads the field at 6-under through 16 holes as about half of the field has started round one.
  • Hunter Mahan, Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley are all within a few shots of Perez early in round one at TPC Scottsdale. Defending champion Phil Mickelson is 2-under and T-16 at the moment.