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Sergio Garcia off to 'comfortable' start with a 66 in Dubai; Richard Sterne leads


South African Richard Sterne holds a slim lead after the opening day of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in the United Arab Emirates, but a number of bigger names are also near the top of the leaderboard.

Sergio Garcia shot an opening-round 66 and is just two shots behind Sterne, while Paul Casey (-5), Martin Kaymer (-4) and Tommy Fleetwood (-4) are all within striking range after the first day.

Sterne, who has six wins on the European Tour, but none since the Joburg Open in 2013, had just one bogey to go with nine birdies to finish the day at 8 under. The 39-year-old holds a one-shot edge over American Kurt Kitayama, who shot a 65 thanks to an eagle on the 17th hole.

Garcia had a smooth round with three birdies on each side and no bogeys.

“I felt comfortable out there for sure. I felt like I hit a lot of good shots. Conditions obviously were good, but they were tricky,” Garcia said. “The greens are a little patchy when it comes down to firmness. Some spots are really firm and some spots you can definitely spin it. But other than that, I felt like it was a good, solid day, and very happy with the way it went.”

Other notables included Lee Westwood and Shane Lowry at 2 under and Collin Morikawa, who shot a one-under 71.

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