Date: February 01, 2013
Author: Omnisport

Fraser starts well in Dubai

South African Richard Sterne leads the Dubai Desert Classic after a stunning first-round 62 on Thursday, while Australian Marcus Fraser made a solid start. Sterne hit 10 birdies in a blemish-free day of golf at the Emirates Golf Club in the United Arab Emirates, enough to give him a one-shot lead ahead of Scotland&aposs Stephen Gallacher at the European Tour event. A pair of Scots – Chris Doak and Scott Jamieson – and Englishman Tommy Fleetwood are tied for third on seven-under, three shots off the lead. Fraser got off to a solid start, carding five-under-par round of 67 to be a in a tie for 12th place. Brett Rumford and Richard Green both have plenty of work to do to make the cut after opening with 73s, while Andrew Dodt and Daniel Gaunt could both only manage 75s. But the day belonged to Sterne, who carded his lowest ever round on the European Tour – just one stroke outside Ernie Els&apos course record set 19 years ago. The 31-year-old began his day with a birdie on the second and he made up further shots on holes four, six and 10. He picked up six further birdies on the back nine, including three from as many holes to finish the day. “I couldn&apost have asked for a better start really. I enjoy this golf course and it shows with the good score today,” Sterne said. “Hopefully I can just keep going and give myself a chance on Sunday when it counts. I do want to win again and that&aposs one of the goals for the year. “It&aposs been a while since I&aposve won – it&aposs just not that easy to do anymore.” Gallacher must have been scratching his head after his entertaining if slightly erratic round was not enough to give him the lead. He hit two eagles, seven birdies and two bogeys that kept the pressure on Sterne. Jamieson, who was second at the Volvo Golf Champions earlier this month, carded one eagle, six birdies and one bogey in his round while Fleetwood and Doak avoided errors. A group of six players including Italian Matteo Manassero and Englishman Paul Casey are four shots off the pace at six-under.World number eight Lee Westwood and nine other players are still in contention in a tie for 12th at five-under. Westwood, who finished in a share of second in 2012, hit one eagle and three birdies in his round of 67. Last week&aposs Qatar Masters winner and runner-up, Chris Wood and Sergio Garcia, both fired 68s. Defending champion Rafa Cabrera-Bello of Spain is seven shots off the pace after the first day, in a tie for 43rd at three-under.