Jan 26th, 2017
Bradly Dredge leads in Qatar
And G–Mac's off to a fast start
Words: John Dean Photography: Getty Images
Wale's Bradley Dredge has got off to a cracking start at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters. He shot a bogey–free eight under 65, which three birdies on the front nine and four on the back nine, to take a one–shot lead into day two.
He holds a one–shot lead on FInland's Mikko Korhonen, and two shots from Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Nathan Kimsey and Graeme McDowell.
McDowell arrived in Doha ranked 91st in the world, so he will be more than pleased with this strong start to his season.
Starting from the 10th, McDowell birdied his first three holes and picked up further shots on the 14th, 16th and 18th to race to the turn in just 30 shots, before adding another birdie on the second.
A three–bogey on the sixth was his only stumble in his round. Kimsey and Aphibarnrat also had seven birdies and one bogey a piece in calm conditions.
"First round and tournament of the year and to birdie 10, 11, 12 was a special way to start and certainly got me in a very relaxed frame of mind," McDowell told reporters.
"It was nice to keep building and keep hitting good shots but there is a long way to go. There are lots of good players here and I'll definitely keep the head down and hope to keep playing well.
"It's always been one of those courses that appealed to me on a lot of levels. Conditions being tougher, I typically play tough courses well and to go out and post a low one this morning was a nice start to proceedings.
"I felt good on the greens, my iron play was very good and I got the ball in play mostly off the tee. It's only round one but I liked the way I felt out there."
Europe's new Ryder Cup captain, Thomas Bjorn, was also teeing up in Qatar, and he shot a very respectable four under. He needs to get his golf in now before he becomes overwhelmed by the responsibilites and pressures of the captaincy.