Rory McIlroy felt he got the most he could from his round after opening the defence of his Omega Dubai Desert Classic title with a four under par 68.
The Race to Dubai champion is looking to become just the second player after Ernie Els to lift the trophy three times but got his campaign off to a poor start with a bogey on the tenth.
After a wayward tee shot, the Northern Irishman put his third in a greenside bunker and saw his fourth roll back to his feet before finding the fringe and rolling in a 12-footer to keep the damage to one shot.
He then went on to make six birdies with just one more dropped shot, and the World Number Two was pleased with his opening 18 holes in the desert.
"I thought I did well, considering the start and having some of the shots I hit throughout the round," he said. "The score was probably a fair reflection of how I played.
I don't feel like I could have really gone any lower than that, but at the same time I gave myself enough chances to make some birdies - Rory McIlroy
"To be able to shoot something at least in the 60s today was very pleasing. I didn't have any best stuff out there at some points, but when I got myself out of position, I was able to get myself back in position and make pars and a few birdies out there. All in all, I feel like it was a good round of golf."
McIlroy made a remarkable birdie on the 18th after putting his tee shot in the water and revealed he did not let his head drop despite finding the lake.
"I stayed positive because I hit a great tee shot," he said. "I actually said to my caddie JP before I hit my third shot, 'it would be great to make birdie here', and I was able to do that."
The 26 year old moved back up to second in the Official World Golf Ranking this week as he looks to reclaim top spot from Jordan Spieth. The American is regarded by many as the best putter in the world and McIlroy feels that is an area of his game that is improving.
"I still feel there's room for improvement in that part of the game, but it's definitely got better," he said. "Even since winning this tournament back in 2009, the strides I've made in my putting have been great.
"I feel like I've got a consistent routine in practice and that definitely helps on the course.
"Putting, sometimes it goes your way one week and sometimes you don't quite hole as many as you think you should. Overall I feel like the consistency of my putting has got much better, so I'm very happy about that."
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