• Thu
  • Apr 17, 2014
  • Updated: 4:12pm
SportGolf

South Africa’s George Coetzee sets the pace in Qatar Masters

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 January, 2014, 10:53am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 January, 2014, 10:53am

South African George Coetzee fired a blistering eight-under-par 64 to lead the Qatar Masters after the first round on Wednesday.

Coetzee made an eagle and seven birdies to move a shot clear of compatriot Dawie van der Walt and Briton Steve Webster, who started his round with a spectacular albatross at the par-five 10th hole.

“It was 254 yards to the pin, slightly into the wind off the left,” the Englishman said.

“It was a five wood and I hit a great shot, obviously straight at it,” he added after becoming the first player to start a European Tour event with an albatross.

“I have never been three under through one before and you wonder is this my day or have I had all my luck on the first hole, but I played great after that.”

Four-time major champion Ernie Els chipped in for an eagle at the last and a round of 67, the same score as American John Daly, and Sweden’s world number three Henrik Stenson carded a 68 after missing the cut in Abu Dhabi last week.

US PGA Champion Jason Dufner began with a solid round of 70, three shots better than defending champion Chris Wood of Britain.

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