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Rory sits 2 back at Omega Dubai Desert Classic

eurotourlogoFirst Round – European Tour – Omega Dubai Desert Classic – Emirates Golf Club – ballholeDubai, United Arab Emirates –

Sweden’s Alexander Noren opened with 6-under-66 at Emirates Golf Club to take the overnight lead at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

Noren, a winner last year on the European Tour at the Nordea Masters, was runner-up here in 2015.

The 33-year-old Noren, who is 95th in the world rankings, leads four players at 5-under including Rafael Cabrera-Bello. RCB was T-2 last week losing to Branden Grace at the Qatar Masters.

Rory McIlroy, No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, is part of a large group at T-6 and 4-under alongside Bernd Wiesberger, while Henrik Stenson and Graeme McDowell headline the players at 3-under and T-14 through 18 holes.

McIlroy opened the week as a big betting favorite at 9-to-4, according to Station Casinos in Las Vegas. Noren was part of the “Field” at even money, while RCB was listed at 28-1.

PGA TOUROther Golf news:

  • The PGA Tour hosts the Waste Management Phoenix Open this week with Brooks Koepka defending his title. Bubba Watson, the two-time Masters champion, is the betting favorite at 8-1 odds.
  • Ha Na Jang (7-under-65) continues to lead the LPGA Tour’s Coates Golf Championship as round two is under way. The event features a Saturday final round. Jang, four times a runner-up last year on tour including this event, has yet to tee off. But, Rolex Ranking No. 1 Lydia Ko is already making a run. She is 2-under early on her round to reach 5-under overall and just two back alone in second place.
  • The Champions Tour returns to action this week at the Allianz Championship inChampions Tour Boca Raton, Florida. Bernhard Langer is the favorite at 5 ½-1 odds to win, while Paul Goydos returns as defending champion.
  • Stacy Lewis opened with 78 in round one at the Coates. She was T-78 heading into Thursday. Americans Lexi Thompson and Cristie Kerr were both inside the Top 10 heading into the second round.