Rolex Series

Hero Dubai Desert Classic - What the leaders said

Li Haotong,Rasmus HøjgaardCameron Young and Andy Sullivan shared the lead at five under after day one of the Hero Dubai Desert Classic.

Here is what the four leaders had to say after shooting opening rounds of 67 at the first Rolex Series event of the season.

Li Haotong

I think I played just as solid as last week. I've been working on a lot of stuff during the winter-time and to see some results like this, it's kind of slowly paying back now. I think most of the time (my recent problems were) off the tee. And especially I saw that stroke last week finally become ingrained now. I'm finally happy to see that and hopefully I can maintain that and improve that. It's just golf. I don't know. Hopefully it doesn't happen again and I will definitely behave more this time.

Rasmus Højgaard

I think it was pretty good from how I played today. I think everyone could see I was a bit off-line from the tee box today but I managed to scramble my way around and then obviously had eagle on ten and the two birdies at the end. So I'm very happy with the round. I just need to sharpen up my tee-shots. Everything else was pretty good. Out here it is very much a ball-striking golf course. If you hit it straight off the tee and you hit it on the greens, you can give yourself some good chances. There's a couple of good short par fours and par fives which are easy to reach in two. So there's birdie chances out there but it's easy to run into bogeys and worse.

Andy Sullivan

First event of the year for me so you're always a bit anxious, you never know quite how you've done in practice. You could be playing brilliantly and then you never know until you put it into tournament rounds. I felt like I grew into the round well. I didn't feel like I started great but then sort of got around the turn and felt like I was swinging it a lot better and felt like I could go at a few more flags and the putter got hot. I'm massively satisfied. I played well at the back end of the year in South Africa and you feel like you're on a high. And then obviously four weeks off and you come back and you're like, 'am I still playing as good? Am I not?'. But I've gone back to working with Jamie Gough and just got back to hitting my little fades and being good at what I'm doing. I'm never going to be a bomber, so it's about control for me and try and do that again. I think if you want to shoot a score, you've got to be in the fairway. You can be as far up as you want but you're still losing control. The greens are firm enough and the pins are tucked where you're struggling to get at them if you're not in the fairway. I won't say it's as tough as a Major but it has got that feel to it, the golf course, where you have to be very diligent into the greens and putting it on the right side. So congrats to the setup.

Cameron Young

I played really well. The front nine scoring was a little bit hard to come by. I think a little bit of wind and just a couple of mediocre bounces but I feel like I played well all day. Kind of that nine aside, even with the score, I played better than that. So I was really happy with the back nine but happy just that I stayed patient throughout the front nine and kind of let it come to me late. I was proud of the way I handled it. I think early on, I saw some people four, five under par through eight or ten holes and I kind of assumed that someone would shoot seven or eight and found out like halfway through my round that no one had shot better than five. I think I put it in perspective that I was even or one over at the time and felt like I was playing all right and knew I had those chances. I think it kind of helped me just wait for those to come, knowing that even or one over through the front nine isn't bad and you have a chance to shoot, you figure, two or three, and to make those birdies and eagle on the last was tremendous.

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