Web Stories Thursday, February 29

Former winner Li Haotong carded a five-under-par 67 in the first round for a four-way share of the lead in the Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club on Thursday.

China’s Haotong, who won the tournament in 2018, tops the leaderboard alongside Denmark’s Rasmus Hojgaard, Andy Sullivan from England and American Cameron Young.

“I think I played just solid as last week,” Haotong, who finished 14th at the Dubai Invitational last weekend, said.

“I’ve been working on a lot of stuff during the winter time and seeing some results like this is kind of like slowly paying back now.”

Haotong set the early pace, but two bogeys on the final four holes allowed the chasers to join him at the top, as Hojgaard ended his round with two birdies and Young landed an impressive eagle at the 18th.

Hojgaard’s twin brother Nicolai is among a group of seven players one-shot off the lead, while Rory McIlroy, who won his third title at the tournament last year, hit four bogey’s in his round of 71 to leave him four shots off the leaders.

Nine players, including Grant Forrest on three-under before the 18th, will need to finish their round on Friday as the sun set in Dubai to bring an end to Thursday’s play.


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