Alvaro Quiros, Stephen Dodd, Daniel Vancsik and Paul Lawrie share a one-stroke lead midway through the opening round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship today.
The quartet set the first round pace at six-under-par with South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Thomas Aiken, along with England's Ian Poulter one shot off the lead.
Ireland's Rory McIllroy is just one shot further back with eight holes still to play.
Former Open champion Lawrie carded the only bogey-free round of the leading quartet, after missing the cut at last week’s Joburg Open.
“I played nicely. I think it was important even missing the cut last week to get a tournament under my belt before coming over for the next three weeks. I think that helped today, although I played all right last week,” he said.
“Today I hit an awful lot of good shots and a lot of good iron shots, I drove the ball a bit poorly, but when I was in trouble, I hit nice iron shots to recover.”
Big-hitting Spaniard Quiros, who will defend his Commercialbank Qatar Masters title next week, made a storming finish to his first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club with three gains over his final three holes.
“I’m very happy because the score is good. I made some changes in the wintertime and it looks like they are working,” said Quiros, who turned 27 today.
“But it’s just the first round. It means nothing if I don’t play well in the next three rounds so tomorrow is going to be a new day. I’m going to start from zero again.”