Tournament: DP World Tour Championship, Dubai
Rolex Series: Fifth Rolex Series tournament of 2022
DP World Tour Rankings: Tournament 43 of 43 events
Venue: Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, UAE
Prize Fund: $10,000,000
Hashtag: #DPWTC #RolexSeries #DPWT
Round One Report
U.S. Open Champion Matt Fitzpatrick leads the race to become Europe’s Number One after carding an opening round of 65 at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, the DP World Tour’s season-ending event.
The 28-year-old started the day with five consecutive birdies, making two further gains in a bogey-free round as he bids to win this event for the third time. He is joined by Ryder Cup teammate Tyrrell Hatton, a four-time Rolex Series event winner, on seven under par at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Hatton set the early clubhouse lead after carding eight birdies and dropping just one shot as he seeks a first win since his victory in the United Arab Emirates at the 2021 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Fitzpatrick is now projected to finish at the top of the DP World Tour Rankings in partnership with Rolex after Rory McIlroy and Ryan Fox carded opening rounds of 71 and 73 respectively.
The pair sit one stroke ahead of Ryder Cup teammate Alex Noren, after the Swede fired a six under par round of 66. Spaniard Adri Arnaus is one stroke further back on five under par.
Matt Fitzpatrick: “I was laughing to be honest. I literally said to Billy in yesterday, when we won in 2020, didn’t we have four in a row? And then we did four (birdies) in a row, and then we laughed about that and I made a fifth. It was a nice start to the day.
“Definitely. I think the biggest thing I’m pleased about today is just hitting 17 greens, and the one I missed, I was a complete idiot. That was the big thing that I was happy about today is that I kept giving myself chances and putted well as well.
“I have no idea how they are getting on. The way they are playing this week, it seems that it really is one shot at a time and you’ve got to be on your ball. Just because of how difficult I think it is with the rough, you’re missing fairways, you can’t give yourself any chances. It’s difficult to control the ball coming out of the rough, and certainly around the greens it’s the same deal, and it’s only probably going to get firmer.”
Tyrrell Hatton: “I’m surprised to hear it’s my lowest round to start with. Obviously it was a good day. Hit a lot of good shots. Putter was great. Kind of happy with that start. Although my head’s a bit fried at the moment. My mind is just raging at the last there. But it is what it is.
“I would say consistently very, very average. Apart from that, good finish at Bay Hill. We had — I think we were leading Desert Classic on Saturday afternoon. So there was a few good events at the start of the year I guess, but then I guess after Bay Hill, it’s been pretty boring. Nothing to get excited about to be honest. And although I’ve made a lot of cuts, I think I’ve only missed two cuts this year.”
Alex Noren: “Yeah, I would have taken a six under before the round. I thought the course, it’s a little trickier with the rough. It plays nice. It plays beautiful. I got probably lucky today, going out early makes it easier of course, and just it’s a great start. Like I come off a decent finish last week, and got the putting going the last fine holes. So I’m very happy, yeah.
“I think it’s more, maybe not just confidence. It’s more like these shots work. These shots work and this is what I need to work on. Sometimes when you come into a week having played that or not having played at all, you don’t really know what works. I think that’s maybe what we like the most. Like, oh, this driver, just keep on doing that. So you fly across the world but it’s sort of the same but then it feels good.
“That’s why going into this week, I just put Rory’s driver on repeat on my phone, and somehow, can I like feed off that because I know driver here is key.”
Rory McIlroy: “Yeah, certainly not what I was hoping for, three under through eight holes, thinking a solid start with some chances coming up and just started to drive the ball a little crooked on the back nine. So yeah, made that bogey on 12 and didn’t birdie 14 or 15, and then an unforced error with the three-putt on 16.
“So it was nice to birdie the last just to shoot under par. Yeah, I don’t know obviously I’ve had three weeks off since the CJ Cup, so I’ll trying to knock the rust off a little bit. There was enough good stuff in there. I made five birdies and hit some decent shots. Yeah, just need to be a little tidier tomorrow.
“Yeah, it’s much more penal that will it has been in previous years. They have not overseeded it this year, so it’s just that pure Bermuda and the ball sits right at the bottom. Yeah, it’s very rare you get a decent lie to even have chance to hold the green or even get it up to the green. Yeah, bigger premium on accuracy this year, and I definitely found that out on the back nine today.”
Scores after Round One:
65 T HATTON (ENG), M FITZPATRICK (ENG),
66 A NOREN (SWE),
67 A ARNAUS (ESP),
68 K KITAYAMA (USA), C SHINKWIN (ENG), Y PAUL (GER), R H?JGAARD (DEN), T FLEETWOOD (ENG),
69 M KIEFFER (GER), V PEREZ (FRA), P LARRAZ?BAL (ESP), R RAMSAY (SCO),
70 P WARING (ENG), D LAW (SCO), S S?DERBERG (SWE), O WILSON (ENG), G GREEN (MAS), R MACINTYRE (SCO), J RAHM (ESP), A MERONK (POL),
71 R LANGASQUE (FRA), J CAMPILLO (ESP), S HORSFIELD (ENG), M LEE (AUS), G MIGLIOZZI (ITA), A OTAEGUI (ESP), R MCILROY (NIR),
72 M SCHNEIDER (GER), O BEKKER (RSA), A ROZNER (FRA), T LAWRENCE (RSA),
73 F ZANOTTI (PAR), J LAGERGREN (SWE), R MANSELL (ENG), C SYME (SCO), S SHARMA (IND), S LOWRY (IRL), R FOX (NZL),
74 V HOVLAND (NOR),
75 H LI (CHN), R CABRERA BELLO (ESP), M PAVON (FRA), T OLESEN (DEN),
76 E PEPPERELL (ENG), H LONG (GER), E FERGUSON (SCO), J SMITH (ENG),
77 R BLAND (ENG),
78 A WU (CHN)