Shane Lowry made a blistering start to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship as he carded a 10-under-par 62 to tie the course record and take a three-shot lead.
The Irishman was blemish-free in his opening 18 in the United Arab Emirates, matching Henrik Stenson's record – set 13 years ago – at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
Having started at the 10th, his front nine was magnificent and he made the turn in 31, missing a chance for eagle on the 18th despite sending his approach to four feet.
Lowry atoned for that disappointment by starting his back nine with three successive birdies, before holing from 20 feet at the seventh and gaining another stroke at the eighth.
He was unable to convert from 12 feet to take the outright course record after another superb approach but still matched his career-best score from the 2009 Irish Open.
"I'm obviously over the moon. It equals the best score I've ever shot," Lowry said. "I knew that, as well, and I said it to my caddie coming down the last – 'A birdie here would be the best score I've ever shot', to which obviously he said, 'Well then why don't you just go for it'.
"I left the putt short but I felt like I hit a decent putt, it was just a bit more into the grain than I felt, and yeah, obviously I'm very chuffed.
"I had quite a lot of time off since the World Cup but put in a decent bit of work the last two weeks over here in Dubai and I've just gone out with not much expectation but knew I was playing okay and yes, everything clicked."
I only hit 4 fairways https://t.co/EfV2wlYysP— Shane Lowry (@ShaneLowryGolf) January 16, 2019
Pablo Larrazabal, Louis Oosthuizen, Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Richard Sterne form the quartet three adrift, with Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer among five players four strokes off the pace.
World number two Brooks Koepka is five back after a bogey-free round and the three-time major champion, with Dustin Johnson among a host of players two further adrift.
Defending champion Tommy Fleetwood also has work to do after an inconsistent start to his bid to win the title for the third year running.
Fleetwood, whose triumph last year marked the start of an excellent 2018 that saw him finish third in the Race Dubai and was marked by a stunning performance at the Ryder Cup, signed for a 69 to sit level with Johnson.
22 de mayo 2019
|Ter Stegen out of Copa del Rey final|
|Ewan victory sees Demare nudge into Giro points lead|
|Khawaja sent for scans after blow to head|
|Diego Costa a doubt for start of Atletico´s pre-season with ligament sprain|
|Caballero commits to Chelsea for 2019-20|
|F1 Raceweek: Ricciardo or Red Bull to halt Mercedes? - Monaco GP in numbers|
|Deco: Valverde will be feeling heat at Barcelona after Liverpool loss|
|Caparros to be replaced as Sevilla coach but remain at the club|
|England have no margin for error at World Cup, warns Stokes|
|An iconic character - Villeneuve & Prince Albert remember Niki Lauda|
|Borussia Dortmund sign Leverkusen star Brandt|
|Rudi Garcia to leave Marseille|
|If my job depends on one game, I want to leave Chelsea immediately – Sarri|
|Sarri hopes Hazard stays at Chelsea but will respect any decision|
|NRL Opta facts: Retiring Cronk seeks 100th try|
|Trail Blazers give coach Terry Stotts multi-year extension|
|Guingamp and coach Gourvennec part ways following relegation|
|Coutinho returns to Barcelona training ahead of Copa del Rey final|
|Lam signs new long-term contract with Bristol|
|Aduriz agrees one-year Athletic extension|
|Those Star Wars writers might have been busy! Rodgers unhappy with Game of Thrones finale|
|He should have a statue in Perez´s garden – Real Madrid great lauds Zidane´s return|
|Gyan makes Ghana retirement U-turn after presidential request|
|49ers pass rusher Bosa tweaks hamstring|
|Kroos, Ter Stegen to miss Germany qualifiers|
|Archer brings X-factor to England attack – Root|
|Thorgan Hazard completes Borussia Dortmund move|
|Giannis not feeling pressure despite Raptors revival|
|Gundogan confident Man City will keep Sane despite Bayern links|
|Sterling wants to discuss tackling racism with FA and Premier League|
|Raptors´ VanVleet ends shooting slump after birth of second child|
|Pogba and Hazard to Real Madrid? It´s possible, says Varane|
|Plunkett hails ´special talent´ Archer|
|Solskjaer deserves patience at Manchester United - Van Persie|
|Yankees stay hot, pull away for win over Orioles|
|Three takeaways from Raptors´ Game 4 win over Bucks|
|Well-rounded Raptors level series against Bucks|
|Blues snap 49-year Stanley Cup Finals drought|
|Koscielny slams UEFA after Mkhitaryan withdrawal|
|Del Bosque defends Spanish clubs despite European failure|
|Pulisic keen to match Hazard impact at Chelsea|
|Durant ´100 per cent undecided´ about future, says manager|
|Rodgers says Packers´ new offense is ´going to look different´|
|Beilein explains decision to leave Michigan for Cavaliers|
|Warriors became ´unbeatable´ with Durant, says Green|
|Simeone reaffirms Atletico commitment ahead of rebuild|
|Wallabies star Sio re-signs until 2022|
|Lacazette adamant he´s in the form of his life|
|Cech denies he already agreed to Chelsea sporting director role|
|Fury expects Wilder rematch in March or April 2020|
|Costa avoids bone damage after suffering ankle injury|
21 de mayo 2019
|Canada beat USA, who must now face rampant Russia|
|Barty withdraws before rain scuppers play in Strasbourg|
|AFC Champions League Review: Oscar hat-trick helps Shanghai SIPG progress|
|Zverev cruises through in Geneva as Dimitrov crashes out|
|Luka Doncic & Trae Young top 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie first team|
|F1 Raceweek: Can Verstappen stop Hamilton & Bottas in Monaco?|
|Sri Lanka end ODI winless streak in Edinburgh|
|Ratchford set for long injury absence|
|It´s staying up! - Bernardo Silva shows off good-luck Christmas tree|
|Varane vows to stay at Real Madrid for next season|
|Shahzad and Naib star as Afghanistan bounce back in Belfast|
|Argentina has strongest possible squad - Scaloni|
|Kohli expecting his ´most challenging World Cup´ yet|
|Kompany set for Manchester City testimonial at Etihad Stadium|
|Love you man – Lewis Hamilton pays tribute to Niki Lauda|
|Garitano replaces Abelardo as Alaves coach|
|O.J. Simpson´s No. 32 Bills jersey assigned for first time in 42 years|
|Dybala, Aguero in Argentina´s Copa America squad as Icardi is left out|
|Demare opens Giro account after Ackermann crash|