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Lipsky grinds into Dubai lead

Lipsky grinds into Dubai lead

David Lipsky mastered the tough conditions to set the clubhouse target with a 68 on the first morning of the 2020 Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

David Lipsky

The thicker rough and a testing wind made Emirates Golf Club a sterner challenge than in recent years, and just ten of the morning wave were under par in the Middle East.

American Lipsky led the way with five birdies and a single dropped shot to get to four under, a shot clear of countryman Kurt Kitayama, Australian Lucas Herbert, Japan's Masahiro Kawamura, Dane Søren Kjeldsen and South Africa's Shaun Norris.

Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau was at two under, a shot ahead of Major Champions Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington and Louis Oosthuizen, who rounded out the players in red figures.

Norris had held a two shot lead as he continued the form that has brought him a win, four second places and five other top tens in his last 15 events worldwide.

But the author of this week's Player Blog presented by Enterprise Rent-A-Car made a triple bogey after finding water on his final hole to fall back into the pack.

Lipsky took advantage of the par five tenth and holed a long putt at the 12th before further gains on the 17th and first moved him two ahead.

Norris made a fast start with birdies on the tenth, 12th and 13th but he was two behind as Lipsky picked up another shot on the second.

Lipsky made his only bogey of the day on the fourth and as he parred his way home, Norris reeled him in.

The 37-year-old birdied the 16th to join the lead and also made gains on the first and third to become the first man to six under, missing a golden chance from three feet for a three shot lead on the fifth.

He looked to be making serene progress but that triple bogey on the ninth sent him tumbling backwards, with Kjeldsen heading in the other direction.

The 44-year-old, who is making his 601st European Tour appearance, made progress on the back nine after starting on the tenth, with birdies on the 13th, 15th and 17th.

A bogey on the fifth threatened to derail his progress but gains on the seventh and eight had him alongside Lipsky before he became the latest victim of the treacherous ninth.

Kitayama was the only bogey free player in the morning, making gains on the 15th, 18th and third.

Kawamura finished his round with three birdies to vault up the leaderboard, having mixed three gains with three bogeys over his first 14 holes, while Herbert combined five birdies with two bogeys.

DeChambeau finished his round of 70 with the only birdie of the day at the ninth, adding to three other gains and two bogeys to sit two shots off the lead.

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