Dec 3rd, 2020
Sullivan red hot in Dubai
Englishman shoots course at Golf in Dubai Championship
Photography: Getty Images
The Englishman recorded 11 birdies and flirted with just the second 59 in European Tour history, after Oli Fisher at the 2018 Portugal Masters, before parring his last two holes in a brilliant bogey-free opening round.
Sullivan also set the course record en route to his fourth European Tour title at the 2020 English Championship in August and he now tops a tightly packed leaderboard, with fellow countrymen Matt Wallace and Ross Fisher and Frenchman Antoine Rozner his closest challengers on nine under par.
"It’s funny, I played the front nine yesterday and I played the back nine a year ago when we came over to warm up, you do all this prep on these courses and try and work out where to hit it. This week I turned up and clattered it down and found myself being ridiculous under par through seven or eight holes on my front nine. You think ‘here we go’." said Sullivan.
"I changed my putting routine with Mike yesterday and it’s helped me trust my instincts more instead of second guessing myself which really helped. The putter was extremely hot today."
Scottish duo Craig Howie and Marc Warren and Swede Oscar Lengden are in a tie for fifth at eight under par, with Italian pair Lorenzo Scalise and Francesco Laporta, Sweden's Rikard Karlberg and Spaniard Pep Angles one shot further back.
Wednesday marked the 49th United Arab Emirates National Day, and Emirati invitational golfer Ahmed Skaik hit the opening tee shot to start the new event as the Fire Course made its European Tour debut.