Scotland’s Scott Jamieson (16/1 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship 2022 outright) will take a one-shot lead into the second round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on Friday after a clinical opening round of 63.
Jamieson is playing in his first tournament since November, but he showed no signs of rust as he moved onto nine-under-par after round one at Yas Links.
Thursday’s weather forecast suggested high winds, but that did not materialise, and Jamieson set the market, with Norwegian Viktor Hovland one shot behind after a 64.
Belgian Thomas Pieters (9/1 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship 2022 outright) sits alone in third after a round of 65, while Victor Perez, James Morrison, Takumi Kanaya, Ian Poulter and defending champion Tyrrell Hatton (8/1) share fourth place.
Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa, the two highest-ranked players in the field, both struggled, and they are nine and ten strokes back, respectively.
The day belonged to Jamieson, though, and he says it felt great to set the standard.
He told reporters: “Just really solid all day, to be honest.
“This is the first off-season I haven’t actually peeled the skin back and tried to figure out how to get better.
“When I started practising a couple of weeks ago, I kept telling myself that you have to hit the ground running here because it could ultimately dictate how your season goes. If you miss the first two cuts of the year, then all of a sudden, you feel like you’re miles behind because there’s such a great prize for the first couple of events.
“So I was aware of that, so mentally I was trying to be as prepared as I could be.”