Feb 27, 2020: Returning to European Tour action for the first time since the French Open, S.S.P Chawrasia shot a 68 to end the first day in T5. Other Indian golfers in the field Gaganjee Bhullar and Shubhankar Sharma had a slower start, making 74 each.
The Italian has two European Tour wins from his stunning rookie year on the Race to Dubai last season but had missed his first three cuts of the 2020 campaign, and arrived at Al Mouj Golf without a bogey free round since the Turkish Airlines Open in November.
He showed his class that week in Antalya as he achieved his first top ten in a Rolex Series event and during round one in the desert the 23-year-old once again showed why he is a major rising star on the European Tour.
“It’s very good to start the tournament with a 66 and a bogey free round,” said Migliozzi. “It’s a good feeling to work my way into this beautiful course and tournament. Obviously I will try to give my best over the week and for the rest of the year.
“I think the whole course is good. It’s tricky because the greens are tough and tight and there are a lot of things which need your attention like the wind and the release of the ball. You can play each hole in a few different styles and it’s really cool and all the players are really happy to play here.
“It’s a good feeling to be a European Tour winner already. I like to win and I hope one day will come when I win again.”
Migliozzi made gains on the tenth and 12th and, after a run of seven pars, he birdied the second and left himself five feet on the third to join the early lead.
Playing partner Stone holed a very long putt at the fourth to add to birdies on the tenth, 14th and 18th but Migliozzi followed him in from over 20 feet to take the solo lead – thanking Stone for showing him the line.
Stone then took advantage of the par five seventh from 15 feet to join the lead but, after getting up and down to save par on the eighth, Migliozzi left himself eight feet on the ninth and edged back ahead.
In the afternoon, Højgaard birdied the second, fourth and fifth in a fast start that saw him turn in 33.
A long range birdie on the tenth was followed by an up-and-down on the par five 12th thanks to a deft chip but the 18-year-old AfrAsia Bank Mauritus Open then parred his way home.
Also among the later starters, Lee birdied the third and sixth but was still well back when he dropped a shot on the tenth.
A hat-trick of birdies from the 12th fired him up the leaderboard and while he dropped a shot on the 15th, he hit back on the 16th and last.
Englishman Sullivan had set the early pace with four birdies in his first seven holes but would finish with 11 pars in a bogey free effort.
Frenchman Dubsuisson had a roller coaster with eight birdie and four bogeys, while Scot Gallacher made an eagle, six birdies, two bogeys and a double.
South African Zander Lombard made an eagle two on the par four 14th to go with three birdies and a bogey.
Joost Luiten – the 2018 champion – was in a group of ten players at three under, with five players returning to complete their finals holes on Friday morning.