England’s Danny Denison belied his status as the field's sole amateur after a sensational opening round of 67, five under par, in The Commercialbank Qatar Masters left him just one stroke behind the early first round leader, Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina.
Gonzalez, fourth in last week’s Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, picked up where he left off by shooting a six under par round of 66. The three-time European Tour winner picked up five birdies in his first nine holes, the back nine at Doha Golf Club, and two more coming in, dropping just a solitary stroke on the eighth.
Denison, the 20 year old from Howley Hall in Yorkshire, used his local knowledge to compile his round and challenge for the lead. He won the Qatar Open Golf Championship, held at the Doha Golf Course, in December, which gave him entry into the Commercialbank Qatar Masters.
Denison hit six birdies and just the one bogey - at the last - in his round, which left him level with Thailand's Chawalit Plaphol.
England’s Richard Finch, Ryder Cup player Niclas Fasth of Sweden and Thailand’s Boonghu Ruangkit all shot four under par 68s. Two more Ryder Cup players, Paul McGinley of Ireland and England's Lee Westwood, World Cup Winner Bradley Dredge and Scotland's Simon Yates are all in the clubhouse one three under par 69