Jan 28th, 2021
Sterne leads the way in Dubai
South African leads by one after eight-under round
Photography: Getty Images
The South African, a six-time winner on the European Tour, birdied his final hole of the day at Emirates Golf Club to jump ahead of American Kurt Kitayama on seven under par, with Major Champion Sergio Garcia and fellow countryman Justin Harding a further shot back.
“It's always good to get off to a good start. It helps you for the rest of the week, I think. I've come close here before so it would be nice to have a chance going into the weekend," said Sterne.
"I haven't had many chances going into weekends for a long time, so it would be nice to get through tomorrow and place myself well and see how the weekend goes."
Garcia won this event in 2017 before going on to claim his maiden Major Championship at the Masters Tournament later that year and the Spaniard enjoyed his return to the United Arab Emirates, recording a flawless round of 66.
Englishman Paul Casey made a fast start before settling for a five under 67 despite leading for most of Thursday morning, and was later joined at that mark by Spaniard Adrian Otaegui, Belgian Thomas Detry and Scot Robert MacIntyre.