The DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, the final tournament of this circuit, started this Thursday with the presence of five Spanish participants. The opening round left Adrián Otaegui, fifteenth, as the most outstanding of them all, on a day in which Jon Rahm was unable to display his best golf and was five shots behind the leaders.
Jon Rahm, results
The French Julien Guerrier and Matthieu Pavon and the Dane Nicolai Hojgaard dominate the tournament after the first round after having each won five strokes at the par 72 course. It was on a day in which, of the Spanish, only Otaegui, with -1, was able to go below par.
Jorge Campillo, Pablo Larrazábal and Jon Rahm have remained stuck in it, five strokes behind the leaders on a day in which Nacho Elvira finished forty-eighth with +5. Rory McIlroy, already champion of the 'Race to Dubai', shares the position with Otaegui.
Guerrier, Pavon and Hojgaard have performed best on the first day of this final tournament. The two Frenchmen have had an impeccable round of five birdies without a mistake, while Hojgaard has reacted in the best possible way to an early bogey on the par three 4th hole.
Between holes 7 and 15 he has accumulated six birdies that have earned him to share the lead after the end of the first day. The three leaders surpass three other players by one stroke, the Swede Jens Dantorp (six birdies and two bogeys), the Pole Adrian Meronk (an eagle on the par four 5th hole, four birdies and two bogeys) and the Frenchman Antoine Rozner (five birdies and one bogey), who are at -4.
The Spaniards have not been able to opt for him, especially Rahm who has started out somewhat uncomfortable with the long game. Despite this, a great bunker exit on the par five 2nd hole left him with the birdie. Since then, the Spaniard has been finding the greens, although without good putting positions.
Thus, he reached a par four on the 8th hole that went wrong from the start to the rough and that shortly after cost him the first bogey of his round. Rahm reacted immediately, leaving the birdie on the par four of the 9th and making another good putt on the par four of the 10th.
He was unable to accompany them on the following holes, even saving some compromised situations until a complicated end: he missed a couple of meters for par on the par three of the 17th after going to the bunker earlier and went into the water on the par five of the 18th, which he closed with bogey.
In this way, Rahm has signed a pair that earns him the twenty-fourth place, shared with nine other players. Among them, Jorge Campillo who has recovered from a bad start, with three bogeys in his first four holes. He has made a total of five birdies and as many bogeys in his total round, with many ups and downs but with two birdies in the last five holes to save par for the field.
Also in that position is Pablo Larrazábal, who has made four birdies and two bogeys and has been able to react to a double bogey on the par four 5th hole that threatened to disrupt his round. Slightly ahead, fifteenth, is Adrián Otaegui, with -1 the best Spaniard of the day.
He has done it with three birdies and two bogeys, although one of those errors came on a par five 18th hole that prevented him from winning a bigger prize. He has been the one who has had the best feelings on the day, in opposition to Nacho Elvira who shares the forty-eighth and last position after a very difficult day with a birdie and six bogeys for a total of +5.
Beyond the leaders and the Spaniards, some of the big names of the tournament have positioned themselves well on the opening day. Rory McIlroy, already champion of the 'Race to Dubai', is fifteenth tied with -1 after a day with five birdies and four bogeys that went wrong in the middle of the round.
Higher up, seventh with -3 tied with Robert MacIntyre and Tom Kim, are Tommy Fleetwood (seven birdies and four bogeys) and Viktor Hovland (five birdies and two bogeys). This Friday, second round of a tournament in which the Spanish will try to take a step forward.