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Golf: Cañizares leads Kiradech in DP World Tour Championship in Dubai

Spaniard Alejandro Cañizares opened with a six-under-par 66 to lead by one from Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Australian Marcus Fraser. Photo: Getty Images.

Spaniard Alejandro Cañizares opened with a six-under-par 66 to lead the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai by one from Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Australian Marcus Fraser. Photo: Getty Images.

November 15, 2013: Alejandro Cañizares came flying out of the blocks in the first round of The European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, UAE, 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. Stenson, currently leading The Race to Dubai, is tied fourth with a group at four-under.

 

Stenson’s hopes to win the money list 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, while defending champion Rory McIlroy bogeyed the last for a 71.

 

“You can’t win tournaments on a Thursday, but you can certainly play your way out of them,” said the 37-year-old Stenson, 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 No. 1 Tiger Woods in the final round in Turkey last week to open with seven birdies and a bogey.

 

“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 time 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.”

 

DP World Tour Championship (Round 1), Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, UAE

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 Fdez-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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