Miguel Angel Jimenez carded a six-under-par 66 to hold a one shot lead over Shiv Kapur after both completed their rounds on the first day of the Commercialbank Qatar Masters.
A faultless run on his outward nine, including two birdies and an eagle, saw Jimenez leap to the top of the embryonic leaderboard, where he remained for the remainder of his round.
The Spaniard missed out on the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship on Sunday by a single shot but looked in good form at the Doha Golf Club to card the best score of the day so far.
India’s Kapur, who also played some impressive golf in Abu Dhabi last week, kept pace with Jimenez and could even have usurped the 43-year-old but for bogeys on the 11th and 15th holes.
He enjoyed a good run coming home, however, making five birdies.
Henrik Stenson made a solid start to the defence of his title by carding a four-under-par 68. The Swede dropped shots on his first two holes but improved to make six birdies and par the rest.
Paul Casey got off to an indifferent start to the second leg of the ’Desert Swing’, carding a level-par 72.
The 29-year-old started poorly, with bogeys on the 10th and 11th but three successive birdies from the 16th looked to have set him up nicely for the front nine.
However, Casey only made one more birdie coming home whilst adding two more bogeys.
Of the late morning tee-offs, Retief Goosen was one under after four holes, while fellow South African Ernie Els and Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke both made steady starts with pars.