George Coetzee was back to his best during the first round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic on Thursday and shot 66 to share second place early on.
The three-time European Tour winner bogeyed the first hole, but that only galvanized his desire to go low. He added seven birdies during the remaining holes and gave no shots back to sign for six under par, one stroke behind leader Sergio Garcia.
The South African’s last victory was the 2016 Dimension Data Pro-Am, while his last piece of European Tour silverware came at the 2015 Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open.
He’s been struggling to compete on the foreign circuit this year, but took to a liking to Emirates Golf Club on Thursday.
Garcia started on the 10th hole and made birdie there, then added three more red numbers to turn in four under par. He followed birdie at the second with an eagle at the third, then found another birdie at the fifth hole. A bogey at the eighth prevented the Spaniard from holding a two-shot cushion and he signed for 65.
Tiger Woods was at the opposite end of the leaderboard after carding a dismal 77 that comprised five bogeys. The 14-time major winner looked uncomfortable in his swing and missed putts that his former self wouldn’t have thought about twice.
You may also like