Thursday, November 14, 2013


Alejandro Cañizares came flying out of the blocks in the first round of the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, where Henrik Stenson made a fine start to his bid for Race to Dubai glory.
Spaniard Cañizares opened with a six under par 66 to lead by one from Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Australian Marcus Fraser, with Stenson, the man leading The Race to Dubai at the season’s final event, two shots back in a group of players at four under.
Stenson’s hopes to land the title of European Number One were boosted by the fact his three main rivals – Justin Rose (70), Graeme McDowell (72) and Ian Poulter (69), currently second, third and fourth in The Race to Dubai respectively – are behind him on the leaderboard, although he was mindful that there is still a long way to go.
“You can't win tournaments on a Thursday but you can certainly play your way out of them,” said the 37 year old, who teed off moments after a fly-by from the Red Arrows. 
“I'm happy the way I'm playing and I would have taken four under.
“I'm playing nicely. I hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens and gave myself plenty of chances.  I definitely hit a lot of good putts out there, but the greens are tricky to read and I should have been a good couple better than what I was. At the last I let the concentration slip and three-putted from 12 feet down the hill. That was the only bad one today.”
Cañizares took inspiration from playing alongside Stenson and World Number One Tiger Woods in the final round in Turkey last week to open with seven birdies and a bogey in Dubai.
“I wasn't feeling great in the warm‑up, but I just looked forward and it turned out to be a great day,” he said. “I started pretty well with a couple of birdies. I kept it very steady and didn't do anything special. I made a couple of long putts for birdie, but overall it was a very quiet round and it felt like it was easy.
“The experience of playing with Tiger last week was great.  It was the first I’ve played with him, and I grew up watching him on TV, so I was a little nervous. In the end, I think it was a good experience for me to realise that I can be amongst the top players.”
Defending champion Rory McIlroy made a promising start but bogeyed the last for a one under par 71.

Par 72
66 A Cañizares  (Esp) ,
67 M Fraser (Aus), K Aphibarnrat (Tha),
68 R Cabrera-Bello (Esp), J Donaldson (Wal), H Stenson (Swe),
69 I Poulter (Eng), T Jaidee (Tha), T Olesen (Den),
70 P Hanson (Swe), L Westwood (Eng), F Molinari (Ita), M Kaymer (Ger), V Dubuisson  (Fra), R Sterne  (RSA), J Rose (Eng),
71 D Lynn (Eng), D Fichardt (RSA), S Lowry  (Irl), E De La Riva  (Esp), B Rumford (Aus), R McIlroy  (Nir), M Manassero (Ita), T Björn (Den), G Fernandez-Castaño  (Esp), N Colsaerts  (Bel),
72 P Larrazábal (Esp), D Horsey (Eng) , J Blixt  (Swe) , S Khan (Eng), B Wiesberger  (Aut), T Fleetwood  (Eng) , M Jiménez (Esp) , P Uihlein  (USA) , G McDowell  (Nir) , M Ilonen  (Fin) ,
73 C Lee (Sco), L Donald  (Eng), C Wood  (Eng), J Luiten (Ned), L Oosthuizen  (RSA), S Jamieson  (Sco),
74 M Warren (Sco), G Coetzee (RSA), J Quesne  (Fra),
75 M Siem  (Ger), R Fisher (Eng), P Casey  (Eng), D Howell (Eng),
76 T Aiken (RSA), G Mulroy (RSA), B Grace  (RSA), G Bourdy (Fra),
77 R Jacquelin (Fra), S Gallacher (Sco),
79 F Aguilar (Chi)



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