Westwood and O'Meara set early pace

1/31/2013 6:47:15 AM
Lee Westwood   (Getty Images)
Lee Westwood (Getty Images)
Lee Westwood made a good start to his 2013 campaign as American Mark O’Meara rolled back the years to take a share of the lead on the opening morning of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

England’s World Number Eight Westwood was making his first appearance on The Race to Dubai this season and, after starting at the tenth, raced to five under par through 11 holes with three birdies and an eagle on the long 18th at Emirates Golf Club.

That was good enough to reach the top of the leaderboard, where he was joined by Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, Scotland’s Scott Jamieson and former Open Championship and Masters Tournament winner O’Meara.

The 2004 winner, now 56 years old and playing predominantly on the Champions Tour, had five birdies in seven holes from the 14th.

Jamieson is the early-season leader in The Race to Dubai after following his maiden win in the Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa with two further top-three finishes in South Africa.

Jaidee’s form is not far short of that – in three starts this season he has finished third-ninth-ninth – and the former paratrooper had five birdies over his first 11 holes.

Spain’s Ignacio Garrido, playing his 501st European Tour event, England’s Richard Bland, South African Richard Sterne and Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher were all one off the early pace on four under.