Day one digest: DP World Tour Championship, Dubai

Everything you need to know from day one at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Jumeirah Golf Estates

There were big starts, big finishes, a flying Frenchman and lots of fluctuations on the opening day of the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

Here is everything you need to know from the first day of the Rolex Series finale to the 2019 Race to Dubai.

Beware the injured golfer

Last week Louis Oosthuizen fired an opening 63 just hours after fearing he would not tee it up at all due to kidney stones and seven days later it was the turn of Mike Lorenzo-Vera to battle adversity. He fired a closing 80 at the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player as he suffered a lung infection and just four days on he went 17 shots better to lead the way in Dubai. His 63 was the lowest opening round in tournament history and his lowest round to par on the European Tour. "Honestly I'm not feeling well at all," he said. "I have no energy. I had a big lung infection in South Africa and a big treatment and really feel bad on top of that. I felt that if I really relaxed a lot, just swing it like 70 per cent or maybe less, the ball was still flying pretty well. Try to be pretty clever and not too aggressive and then the putter got hot. So that worked." It certainly did.

What a start!

Tommy Fleetwood arrived in the Middle East off the back of a win and sitting second in the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex. He teed off alongside leader Bernd Wieserger and laid down a marker by doing this.

He briefly led the Race to Dubai during his round but more work will need to be done to overturn Wiesberger.

What a finish!

Rory McIlroy cannot win the Race to Dubai but fresh off a victory in China, the World Number Two could claim a third victory at this event. He was in a share for second when he hit a perfect drive on the par five last and followed it with this.

The World Number Two heads into day two just one shot behind Lorenzo-Vera.

Refreshed Rahm is fully focused

Jon Rahm may have moved to the top of the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex during day one but he knows that will not matter if he is not on top come Sunday. The Spaniard fired a bogey free 66 to sit within three of the lead but he needs a top two finish to have any chance of overturning Wiesberger. Not that he is paying attention to that right now. "The only time that it matters is when the last putt is made," he said. "Up until then it's all possibilities and probabilities. I'll just try to look at what I have coming up the next three days, that's about it."

Rookies go again

Robert MacIntyre and Kurt Kitayama entered the week battling for the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award and after 18 holes, they could barely be separated. MacIntyre was 11th in the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex on Thursday morning, less than 100 points ahead of Kitayama and the duo played together. They walked off the 18th both at one under, provisionally ranked 13th and 14th and they will play together again on Friday. Take two.............

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